According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), agriculture is the pillar industry of the African economy. In Africa, uncultivated land accounts for 60% of the world’s total uncultivated land; 70% of the African people live on agriculture; 70% of the African labor are employed in agriculture while 40% of the export proceeds are generated by agriculture. For agrochemical enterprises, Africa is a huge fertile land with great potential, as well as an emerging market.
As a pioneer in developing international market, Pilarquim kicked off its strategic business deployment in the African market in 2006. So far, Pilarquim has been granted dozens of registrations in Sudan, Egypt, Morocco and Uganda, and the registrations are currently still growing. Recently, Pilarquim conducted researches in Sudan to understand the latest pesticide market status while delivering technical services to local customers. In this article, Pilarquim has presented to AgroPages its market promotion approaches and its development plan for business development in Africa.
Sudan is located in northeast Africa, in the west bank of Red Sea, bordering Egypt to the north and South Sudan to the south, adjacent to Libya, Chad, Central Africa to the west, and close to Ethiopia and Eritrea to the east.
The area of Sudan is 1.886088 million square kilometres, which ranks the third in Africa and the 15th in the world. Agriculture is the backbone economy of Sudan, where the agricultural population accounts for 70–80% of the total population in the country. Agricultural crops mainly include sorghum, millet, corn and wheat. Its economic crops play an important part in agricultural production, which account for 66% of the total export of farm products, including cotton, peanuts, sesame and Arabic gum.
Pilarquim began its business activities in Sudan in 2006. After development for more than 10 years, Pilarquim has established its dominant brand image in Sudan. By the end of 2017, Pilarquim has been granted six registrations, while more than 10 registrations are in progress. The registrations cover fungicide, insecticide and herbicide which include its flagship products such as PILARKING, PILARSATO, PILARGOLA, PILAR 2,4-D, PILARBEN and PILARPOWER. These products have been well recognized for their good quality and effectiveness, proven by satisfactory applications, and they have attracted a large number of loyal users. To further strengthen the influence of the brand and to provide users with more specialist solutions, Pilarquim has recently conducted a series of market promotions in Sudan to solve the problems of plant health for local users.
Visiting distributors to understand market, and plan for product development
There are about 1,230 agriculture pesticide registrations in Sudan. Pesticide applications are not very popular yet, which provide great potential for the development of the local pesticide market. The star products PILARTEP, PILARCLOTRIN and PILARTHIXIN, which will be registered soon in Sudan by Pilarquim, have got features such as broad spectrum, high efficiency, low toxicity and differ from most of the other products available in the market. These products will not only solve the pest and disease problems of major crops in Sudan, but also will be more competitive in the market, which is expected by users. Pilarquim has made product launching planning and prepared to accelerate its registration process in 2018.
Pilarquim team visited retailer shops in Sudan to understand market and consumer needs
Retailers in Sudan are a main taskforce to solve crop problems for farmers. It is essential to have good contact and communication with retailers for discussions on market planning and development, which is of great help for the promotion of brand image and brand popularity. After more than a 10-year cooperation, an effective and efficient collaborative model between Pilarquim and the local retailers have been established. The products under the cooperation have won good feedback from users for their satisfactory efficacy, and the sales volume has gone far ahead of others. To this end, retailers have expressed confidence in Pilarquim’s new product registration and market development. Concerning new product developments in the future, the customers which Pilarquim has accumulated on a long-term basis will be an important cornerstone of the product distribution sales network.
Walking into farm fields to solve crop care problems
The educational background of Sudanese farmers is not too high; they mostly just follow the retailer’s recommendations on pesticide application. In such cases, the technical teams of Pilarquim make field trips to give farmers onsite lectures on how to apply pesticide in the right manner to deal with plant pests and diseases. This helps farmers solve plant health problems effectively, which helps to win end-user’s trust and confidence of Pilarquim products.
Opportunities and challenges always coexist. In the face of an emerging market such as Africa, which is full of certain unstable factors, it is important for agrochemical enterprises, who want to have a place in the market, to carry out comprehensive market survey to understand the pesticide application tendency and plan for product development, based on which product registration and market promotions are implemented.
By virtue of the long-year overseas market development experience, as supported by a high-level technical team and marketing team, Pilarquim is now ready to speed up its product registration and market promotion process in Africa to access this emerging market. The business development of Pilarquim in Africa is expected to have a bright prospect in the years ahead.