15MARKET ANALYSIS & MARKETING PLAN 15.1 IntroductionThe aquaponics industry in Guyana is now beingdeveloped thus there are not much industry statistics. However the global aquaponicsforecast by 2020 is expected to be $1 billion (US). Table 1 shows theTotal market size for the entire agriculture market in Guyana.

(Figures for2016 could not be found) Market Size 2014 2015 Local Production $304.0 $373.2 Imports $0 $0 Exports $212.7 $203.4 Total Market Size $92 $170 Table 1: $US millions  (total market size = (total local production +imports) – exports) Web Resources: Ministry of Agriculture; Guyana MarketingCorporationWhen assessing the viability of aquaponics in Guyana,the question is not simply whether or not it is viable, but to what extent itis viable, and where and to whom would it be most relevant.

This is because theviability can certainly be achieved, but the extent to which aquaponics can bemaintained as a sustainable practice and how that practice can most efficientlybe implemented is important. Consumer attitudes and behaviours are conditioned ona myriad of factors, and they need to sustain a connection to the products into provide a stronger willingness to purchase products. With organics, there isa drive for health promotions, along with quality and environmental value.

However,consumers value price more than anything. Therefore increased production andlocal produce is invaluable, although taste and accessibility remain prominent,along with trust in the producers. There are many opportunities for sales with speciesof tilapia, and series of lesser-explored fish species, such as bass, sea breamand wolf fish for introduction into the market. The features of aquaponicsallow for consumers to generate a connection to the fish and allow forincreased confidence and knowledge in their purchases. Many of the consumer demands for organic productscan be satisfied through aquaponics.

The produce holds to the local appeal thatis desired, with an environmental focus, mitigated water waste, access to awide variety of produces and fish. It permits a more tactile approach,developing an increased level of trust between consumers and producers and givesthe consumer an outlet for dictating product selection and quality standards. 15.2Market Points of Entry  The key consideration to a market strategy isfinding out what points of entry an aquaponics facility could manage in theGuyana market.

This comes under considerations of the proper end users, systemscaling, key demographics, produce and fish selection, market characteristics,community drivers, and incentives/rewards for promoting sustained purchases.Aquaponics is still in developmental stages, where scaling is determined onregional and administrative factors and not fit into a consistent framework, asthe systems still have heavy data gaps. Although no end user is mutually exclusive to othergroups, the initial setup would ideally focus on an outlet that reaches out tothe highest number of individuals with the widest demographic distribution togenerate the most exposure and awareness of aquaponics principles. Asaquaponics is still relatively unknown in Guyana and consumers have a lower understandingof the practice, it would be ideal to target a market schema that initiallyrelies on exposure to aquaponics, showcasing its potential and outputs.

An ideal facility would manage a high number oftouchpoints (opportunities for the consumer to interact with the business) andan operation that allows for variable product and fish selection as well aseducational benefits in the early stages.  15.3 Return on InvestmentAquaponics have been proven to be quite successfulin market ventures, provided they have suitable preliminary research prior tooperations. Returns on aquaponics systems are variable, and once againcontingent on size and the market. English’sintroductory work on the economic feasibility of aquaponics find the systems tobe most profitable in temperate climates, where hydroponics is a more fittingalternative. 15.4 RegulationsPolicy considerations are of great importance,legislative boundaries can completely unravel a project.

This extends not onlyto licensing and operational standards, but also to auditing processes, labellingpractices, and certification. Misunderstandings about the potential fortransmission of diseases through the water circulation can impede onmaintaining an optimally working system. Aquaponics suffers significantly fromreceiving organic certification, where most famously, European Councilregulation EC 834/2007 bars aquaponics and hydroponics from being consideredorganic. Despite offerings to revisit the definition in the future, there hasyet to be any restructuring for the organic qualifications in hydroponics andaquaponics.

Because aquaponics goes through various iterationsof setups with varying degrees of filtration and can even be achieved throughdesalination, appropriating aquaponics models to a blanket category can be lesseffective for regulations.  15.5 Target marketThecustomers will be the farmers, firstly, those who are already planting leafyproduce will be targeted since those produce are well established in the parentindustry.

Aquaponics uses 90% less land and water than agriculture so there areno need for farmers to have large amounts of land. Farmer who are alreadypracticing hydroponics and aquaculture techniques will be easier to marketsince they are accustomed with some of the technologies. Also, anyoneinterested in aquaponics techniques will also be targeted. The Ministry ofAgriculture already has good faith with the population thus they will have moretrust in them engaging the population.Primary and secondary Schools childrenwill be educated in aquaponics methods are an early stage in their development.Career days and field trips will be utilised.Persons at any level of educationwill be invited to come in and train in aquaponics techniques.

 15.6 Advertisingand PromotionThe Ministry ofAgriculture and NAREI will have presence across many of the popular onlinechannels (website, social media, relevant marketplaces, etc.), this is toeducate the population of training offered.  The marketing plan will utilise a mix of beinbound focused (SEO, social media, blogging, etc), and traditional focused (directmail, brochures, and print advertising)15.7 Questionnaires and Surveys A questionnaire orwritten survey will be given to farmers, is a simple, productive tool to aid inobtaining constructive feedback from potential customers. They can be conductedthrough direct mail, over the telephone, in person, by email or on theinternet.

15.8Marketing Objectives & StrategiesMarketing Objective: Engage and educate population on developmentsin the Aquaponics industry. Strategy Responsible Individual Status/Due Date E-Mail Blast NAREI’s Marketing Manager 15-20-19 Advertising Flyers/ Brochures Information Technology Specialist 15-12-17 Posts to Facebook/Instagram/twitter Marketing research Specialist 15-12-17 Newsletters (print/online) Marketing research Specialist, The Ministry of Agriculture 15-12-17 Online Ads/Banners Information Technology Specialist 15-20-19 Newspapers ads Marketing research Specialist, The Ministry of Agriculture 15-20-19 Billboards The Ministry of Agriculture 15-20-19 Trade fairs Project Manager When necessary. Television ads The Ministry of Agriculture 15-20-19 Public relations/Networking Project Manager, NAREI Director.

15-20-19 Radio ads Marketing research Specialist 15-20-19 Postal or mail advertisements NAREI’s Marketing Manager 05-03-19   

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