Distribution is the process of moving packaged seed from the stores where it is held following processing and packing to the farmer. This may involve a single step, if sales are made directly to farmers, or a series of steps involving intermediate wholesalers and retailers. Clearly, distribution is a key area of marketing and is a vital part of meeting the customers' needs and requirements. In a large seed organization responsibilities are shared between those working in Sales, Inventory Control, Order Administration, Dispatch and Transport (ideally coordinated by the Marketing Department). Thus individual responsibilities need to be clearly defined. In small companies one person may fulfil all of these functions. Essentially, the marketing function takes over from production once the packaged seed has left primary storage.
Seed distribution can be carried out by government, public sector agencies, cooperatives and the private sector or, as is often the case, by a combination of all of these Channels for seed marketing may be described as:
the seed producing organization supplies the farmer directly
the seed producing organization supplies the farmer through independent retail outlets
the seed producing organization supplies a national distributor, wholesalers or regional distributors who, in turn, supply sub-distributors or the retail outlets.