The use of successful strategies to increase competitiveness characterizes any company as a stable member of the market and a progressive business participant. In the field of agriculture where innovation is part of the struggle for the target areas, the utilization of productive sustainable development methodologies makes it possible to maintain high interest in the products sold and earn public recognition.
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Concerning such ventures as Yara International (as a rule, Yara is called) and the Southern Agricultural Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), the creation of a reliable goods base is the evidence of a rather long and high-quality activity aimed at promoting in agriculture. At the same time, the approaches of both companies to maintaining high market positions are different, and the purpose of this work is to analyze the strategies applied by Yara and SAGCOT to ensure interest in the products and services offered.
Yara’s Competition in Africa
Evaluating the performance of Yara in terms of the security of its business in a competitive environment may help determine the main strategies that underpin successful activities. According to Porter et al. (2018), since the company is one of the leaders in the fertilizer market, it needs to maintain a fairly dynamic course of work to withstand such corporations as Agrium and Mosaic.
Based on the authors’ research, in 2013, Yara occupied the third line of the ranking behind the aforementioned organizations and had about 5% of the total volume of supplied fertilizers (Porter et al. 2018). Nevertheless, the strategy of social engagement promoted by the company could not support the business steadily throughout time, and the corporate executives had to look for ways of increasing competitiveness.
During its practice in Africa, Yara has managed to create a sustainable and efficient system of interaction with local agricultural enterprises. As Hall and Cousins (2018) note, the corporation has become one of the firms that have achieved success and overcome competition in this area largely due to sponsorship from investors supporting the development of this industry. Vilakazi and Roberts (2017, p. 8) also mention “cartel arrangements” and argue that Yara has based its work on close cooperation with other enterprises, creating a supply chain and building partnerships. One of the main advantages of this company lies in its reliable and advanced logistics that facilitates quick contact with all the points of the goods delivery. Therefore, the fight against the competition is largely based on effective collaboration and partner involvement.
The concept of engaging partners has become the key principle of the development of Yara as one of the leaders in the agricultural sector in Africa. According to Kaarhus (2018), the company’s representatives have always strived to increase their customer base and provide their products to both large and small farmers, which is a successful step in eliminating competitors and monopolizing the market.
Yara’s membership in SAGCOT was one of the stages of enterprise development on the path to expanding the sphere of influence in different regions of the continent. Kaarhus (2018) argues that the time factor has always been one of the most important working criteria for Yara, and its corporate leaders usually seek to complete a certain stage of work as soon as possible, regardless of the complexity of a particular activity. As a result, Yara has become a respected member of the African agricultural market and has gained significant benefits through participation in various social engagement programs and policies.
The difference between the Approaches Maintained by SAGCOT and Yara
The activities of SAGCOT formed as an initiative to improve Africa’s agriculture are marked by a distinctive course of action compared with Yara. As De Bont et al. (2019, p. 116) state, its main objectives are to provide “income growth among smallholders and employment generation”. Such an approach is not consistent with Yara’s policy where the key focus is on engaging a large number of stakeholders and investors, including both small and large corporations that may be beneficial for business development.
According to Willemen et al. (2018), SAGCOT’s course is aimed at supporting agriculture and rural economic development, which poses the issue of solving local rather than global problems for the members of this organization. Besides, the project does not set itself the task of involving the largest possible audience. SAGCOT’s plan implies promoting its activities in the agricultural and forestry complexes but not the struggle for market leadership.
This position does not provide for close cooperation with all the participants in these industries to overcome the problem by drawing up logistic plans for goods promotion. Therefore, its program and basic objectives are different from those of Yara’s.
Working with partners is certainly one of the activities of SAGCOT. Nevertheless, as Harrison and Mdee (2018) remark, this campaign has not such financial interests as Yara since the key members of the program are large departments that regulate the entire configuration of the African agricultural sector and determine the optimal ways of its development in the conditions of limited resources.
The quality of the assistance of this project is great because significant prospects open up due to new courses for the innovations and the implementation of modern fertilizer technologies and irrigation. According to Gabiri et al. (2018, p. 191), this program is a plan “for future investments in agricultural development”, and all the activities are aimed not at competing and winning tenders for supplies but promoting this area. Therefore, when comparing the practices of SAGCOT and Yara, it is worth noting the difference in priorities and goals as the key points distinguishing their work in the modern business environment.
The business strategies that Yara and SAGCOT adhere to are based on varied goals and have distinctive features. The key differences are in how they achieve market success. Yara strives to expand the sphere of influence and maintain supply chains to all the members of the agricultural sector without exception, involving stakeholders in cooperation. SAGCOT has other interests and stimulates the participation of large departments in solving current problems.
De Bont, C, Liebrand, J, Veldwisch, GJ & Woodhouse, P 2019, ‘Modernisation and African farmer-led irrigation development: ideology, policies and practices’, Water Alternatives, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 107-128.
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