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This textbook, Marketing Research And Information Systems, was prepared by staff of the Network and Centre for Agricultural Marketing Training in Eastern and Southern Africa. The Centre had the objective of strengthening agricultural marketing training in Eastern and Southern Africa. It was funded by the Government of Japan and executed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Based in Zimbabwe, but also serving Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, the Project was able to draw upon the collective experience of eminent academics, government policy makers, experienced managers in agricultural marketing parastatals and pragmatic entrepreneurs from the private sector of agribusiness. The Project extended over a five year period, from May 1990 to August 1995, and during that time amassed a wealth of information on marketing practices within the food and agricultural sectors in the Sub-Saharan Region. In the first instance, this information was published, by the Project, as a series of proceedings from workshops and teaching manuals written by regional and international experts in the twin fields of food and agricultural marketing. It was decided that a distillation of original Project publications, supplemented by cases, illustrations and examples relevant to countries and other regions around the world, would contribute towards an understanding of the importance of marketing to agribusinesses worldwide.

Marketing and agribusiness management series

This book is one of a series of texts prepared by the Network and Centre and has the intention of providing those charged with making marketing decisions in the food and agricultural sectors of the developing world in general, and the tropical regions in particular, with a foundation for better understanding customer motivations and market forces. There are four textbooks in the series. These are:

· Basic Finance For Marketers
· Agricultural And Food Marketing Management
· Global Agricultural Marketing Management, and
· Marketing Research And Information Systems.

These texts are primarily designed as an aid for those teaching marketing as it applies to food and agribusiness. The material is therefore relevant to students of agricultural marketing, agricultural economics, agribusiness, management and business studies. They are suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, as well as vocational and in-service short courses.

Features of the textbook

The learning process is assisted within the text through the provision of a number of learning aids. Each chapter has:

Chapter objectives

- an outline of its objectives in terms of what the reader can expect to learn from reading the particular chapter.

Chapter summary

- a summary which encapsulates the main points of the chapter. The summary should prove useful to students wishing to quickly revise the topics within the chapter.

Key terms

- the most important terms are listed at the end of each chapter and are intended to act as an aide-memoire.

Review questions

- each chapter concludes with a series of questions which readers can use to test their knowledge of the material contained within the chapter.


- other works upon which the author has drawn in writing this textbook are fully referenced as an aid to students seeking to extend their knowledge of a given topic.


- at the end of the textbook there is a ready reference to the most important terms and concepts. The glossary should prove especially useful to those readers who are new to the subject of marketing since it gives a brief explanation of these terms.

Additional material

The text is complemented by an additional set of learning and teaching aids. These include a tutor's manual and a set of overhead transparency masters.


The author wishes to acknowledge the contribution of Ms. Sophie Tsoka who was responsible for the design and production of the visual material both in this textbook and the accompanying overhead transparency masters. Thanks are also due to Mr. Edward Seidler and Mr. Andrew Shepherd of FAO for their critical review of earlier drafts of the text. Lastly, the author takes this opportunity to express his gratitude to Kathryn Greenhalgh, Margaret Bowler and Diane Wallace for their painstaking work in proofreading the draft manuscript.

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