Date Posted: May 28th, 2012
This story shows what can happen when yields increase but the market is already saturated. Noticing a good price for onions one season, many farmers in Niger decided to grow onions in the next season. But this resulted in a flooded market. This can easily happen when farmers do not have full information about markets. Onion farmers lost money when prices dropped.
Accessing relevant and timely market information can be a challenge for small-scale farmers in rural areas. Various systems have been developed to improve this situation – in some countries, farmers can access market information by mobile phone or rural business centres with Internet connections. Radio stations can also play their part by including whole programs or program segments on market information services for farmers.
For more information about one mobile-based market information service, visit: http://www.esoko.com/about/index.htm
Here are two Farm Radio International Scripts on market information:
-Seeing The Difference: Project Makes Farming More Attractive By Improving Farming Methods And Income (Package 83, March 2008) http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/83-5script_en.asp
-Market News from MEGA FM (Package 83, March 2008) http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/83-3script_en.asp
Refer to this week’s script section for more scripts on marketing information services on radio.
How do farmers in your broadcast area access information about prices and markets? Do they rely on word of mouth or are there local information services they can use? You could visit a market and try to find out what mechanisms farmers use to sell their products – do they sell to wholesalers or small traders? How do they find out what their selling options are? How do they decide where to sell? How do they ensure a good price? Does this system work or do farmers often lose out? If you can find farmers who use market services on their mobiles, ask how effective and useful they find it.