Designing and Implementing Agro-Input Marketing Strategies in Developed and Developing Countries
Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Maryland and Washington, D.C., USA
July 23 - August 3, 2012
Program Fee: US $1,900 (before July 23, 2012) or $2,100 (after July 23, 2012)
The international training and study tour on Designing and Implementing Agro-Input Marketing Strategies in Developed and Developing Countries is extremely timely given the volatility and uncertainty in both input and commodity supply and demand and prices. No time in recent history has the capacity of policy makers and private sector entrepreneurs to meet the agricultural input needs of farmers been more challenged than it has in the recent past. Agricultural input markets in virtually all countries worldwide were significantly impacted by global financial markets, food security concerns, cropping pattern changes to meet new and growing markets for bio-fuels and dietary changes. World fertilizer prices in international markets increased four-fold and then declined almost as quickly, causing many agro-dealers to suffer huge losses on inventory and creating unsustainable burdens on the budgets of developing and developed countries that import and subsidize fertilizers.
It is clear that agricultural input markets have changed (and continue to change) rapidly, creating significant risks that require astute management measures. These same changes that create risks also offer opportunities for business growth. Technological advances in seed, crop protection products and fertilizer products are providing farmers the opportunity to improve their competitiveness. It is essential that dealers maintain a good working knowledge of the yield-enhancing products available on the market and understand how the products perform in the field. Dealers must understand the economic returns from the use of various products and be able to give good advice to farmers on the technical and financial aspects of use.
The business environment for agricultural inputs is rapidly changing. In more developed markets, farmers respond quickly to crop market changes; always seeking to reduce risk and achieve a good return on their investment in farming. Dealers have to be prepared to service the ever changing demands of farmers. Dealers and customers alike are faced with new rules and regulations that impact their access to and use of credit. New safety regulations impact transportation and storage and handling of agricultural products. And, due in large part to the wide price fluctuations in fertilizer prices and supply and demand uncertainty, the basic way that dealers conclude sales of fertilizers to farmers has changed.
Many of the agricultural technologies available, as well as the concepts and approaches in strategic planning in fertilizer marketing in North America, are directly applicable to agro-input supply and marketing in developing and developed country environments. The agricultural inputs markets in the United States are highly competitive and are arguably the most advanced in the world in terms of technology development, strategic planning in marketing and servicing the needs of farmers.
IFDC is uniquely positioned to stay abreast of the latest technologies and market developments related to soil fertility management, fertilizer product handling and use and how the best new fertilizer-related developments can be applied to developing and developed country agriculture. IFDC has well-established relationships with essentially all public and private sector organizations that impact fertilizer supply, marketing and use in North America, including but not limited to the U.S. Fertilizer Institute, major North America fertilizer manufacturing and marketing companies, farmer cooperatives, international fertilizer testing laboratories, shipping companies, the United States Department of Agriculture, Alabama State Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Extension Service, agricultural banks, the International Plant Nutrition Institute, numerous micro-enterprises, major agricultural colleges and universities and large and small farmers. Such relationships afford mutual benefits to both the named organizations and IFDC in a range of areas, including the conduct of international training programs in the U.S.
In order to increase the capacity of agro-dealers and policy makers to better design, implement and control strategies to achieve success in the supply and marketing of agricultural inputs, the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) will conduct an international training and study tour on Designing and Implementing Agro-Input Marketing Strategies in Developed and Developing Countries. The program will be conducted during the period of July 23 – August 3, 2012. The program will include visits to policy makers and national associations in Washington, D.C.; IFDC Headquarters in Alabama and agricultural input suppliers, dealers, logistics management business operations in Alabama; and the Midwestern U.S. This 10-day training and study tour focuses on the challenges in the developing countries and transition economies for marketing fertilizers in liberalized, open, competitive markets and the development of practical techniques and skills necessary for customer-oriented marketing.
Training Program Objectives
The objectives of the training program and study tour are to:
- Improve participants’ knowledge and understanding of agro-input marketing strategies in an open and competitive market environment and enhance their analytical, design, planning and implementation skills.
- Familiarize the participants with agro-inputs business processes.
- Provide an opportunity for participants from many countries and backgrounds to exchange information, ideas and experiences.
- Expose participants to trends and challenges in the agro-inputs market.
- Experience opportunities available in the U.S. for agribusiness networking with privately owned agro-input companies at different levels (manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, etc.).
Who Should Attend
This program is designed for middle- to senior-level officials/managers working in public or private sector companies involved in all aspects of fertilizer and agro-input marketing. This includes private sector officials in the fertilizer and agribusiness industries, international procurement agents, major agro-dealers, import/export managers, strategic planners and marketing department managers who are concerned with the agro-input supply chain. Government officials who have a major supervisory and/or regulatory role in fertilizer marketing, including procurement and distribution or the development of agro-input policies, in their countries will find this program very useful. Executives and managers of fertilizer and agricultural input organizations, as well as innovative farmers will benefit from the program. The program is also aimed at representatives of donor organizations and international development agencies involved in funding agricultural input development and private sector projects in developing countries. Participants should be fluent in English.
The program offers exceptional highlights and features including, but not limited to:
- International faculty from IFDC, leading U.S. agribusiness companies and universities and other international experts.
- Diverse and participative activities based on training activities, key lectures and films.
- Written training materials for permanent reference.
- Eight days of field trips to observe supply and marketing activities as related to fertilizers and two days of classroom style presentations and discussion opportunities.
Training Program Content
The program will cover various topics including, but not limited to:
- Strategic planning and risk management in times of uncertainty.
- The dynamic nature of international markets and their impact on national markets.
- Marketing functions and developing marketing strategies in a market economy.
- Policy measures to promote agricultural input market development.
- Logistics management, including safety and environmental issues.
- Innovations in Fertilizers technology
- Understanding the elements of marketing – Planning, pricing, promotion, products and place.
- Human resource development for meeting marketing challenges.
The program faculty includes full-time, senior IFDC agribusiness specialists with several years in agro-input marketing and market development. In addition, industry managers with extensive hands-on experience in several aspects of agro-input marketing will also be associated with the program.
Participants will be given full venue details upon registration
Visa and Medical Insurance
APPLICATIONS FOR NECESSARY VISAS SHOULD BE MADE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. A visa is required for entry into the United States of America. Each participant must obtain a visa from the Embassy or Consulate of the United States in their country of residence. Participants should fulfill all required immunizations and health formalities before departing their county of residence. Medical insurance should be obtained by participants. The program fee does not cover any medical insurance or expenses.
Cost and Enrollment
The program fee for this training course is US $1,900 per participant. This fee is due with enrollment but no later than June 23, 2012. A non-refundable deposit of US $200 is required with each registration. The deposit will be credited toward the program fee which is due four (4) weeks before the program is scheduled. Thereafter, a Late Fee will apply. The program fee, less the deposit, will be refunded for cancellations made two (2) weeks before the commencement of the program. Ninety percent of the paid fee will be returned and 10 percent, in addition to the deposit, will be charged to cover administrative costs for cancellations made between two (2) weeks and one (1) week before the commencement of the program. Cancellations made less than one (1) week before the commencement of the program will receive no refund.
Registration will be on a first come-first serve basis. Paid participants will receive priority.
Registration and program fee payments should reach IFDC by June 23, 2012. Those received thereafter will be accepted ¬¬¬at IFDC’s discretion and incur an additional US $200 late fee. An organization wishing to enroll more than one participant should supply information and payment for each ¬participant.
Payment of the program fee can be made by (1) check or draft payable to IFDC; (2) wire transfer to IFDC’s account in the U.S.A. through First Metro Bank, 406 West Avalon Avenue, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, U.S.A., ABA number 062203955 for credit to IFDC Account number 55281; or (3) major credit card—MasterCard, Visa, or American Express.
The program fee covers registration, training and reference material, coffee/tea breaks, all lunches and surface transportation related to field trips. The fee does not include costs of participant’s air travel expenses (from home country to the United States and return or any air travel within the United States), lodging and meal expenses or medical and communication expenses. Participants are responsible for these costs.
Travel, Food and Lodging Expenses
Participants should plan to arrive in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, on Sunday, July 22, 2012. The program will begin July 23, 2012, at IFDC Headquarters in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The participants will travel as a group from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to St. Louis, Missouri. From Missouri, the group will travel to Washington, D.C. where the program will conclude on August 3, 2012. Participants should return to their home country from Washington, D.C.
Participants will require an airline ticket to the United States for the following routing: home country – Huntsville, Alabama; St. Louis, Missouri - Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C. – home country. Registered participants will be given full details on the flight bookings required and information on program ¬arrangements.
The food and lodging expenses will average about US $120/day in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and up to US $300/day outside of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
IFDC is a nonprofit, public international organization (PIO) dedicated to increasing agricultural productivity and food production through the development and use of plant nutrients in sustainable crop production systems. Headquartered in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, U.S.A., IFDC is involved in human resource development, research and technical assistance in collaboration with public, private, national and international organizations throughout the world. IFDC has conducted about 700 formal workshops, study tours and training programs for more than 10,000 participants from 150 countries since 1974. The programs have covered a wide range of subjects including integrated soil fertility management and fertilizer use efficiency, fertilizer production technology, agro-input dealerships, competitive marketing, supply chain management, investment analysis, policy reforms and numerous specialized topics.
For More Information
Director, Training and Workshop Coordination Unit
P.O. Box 2040
Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35662, U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 (256) 381-6600
Telefax: +1 (256) 381-7408
Note: As a nonprofit organization, IFDC does not finance or sponsor any participant.