Date Posted: August 13th, 2012
There is a complicated relationship between food prices and farmer livelihoods. Past Farm Radio Weekly articles have explored how high food prices can sometimes be detrimental to farmers:
East Africa: Rising prices mean less food on the table (The Monitor, Christian Science Monitor, Business Daily Africa)
Mali: Soaring grain prices worry farmers
Zambia: Small-scale farmer worries about rising food prices http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/02/07/zambia-small-scale-farmer-worries-about-rising-food-prices-by-brian-moonga-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-zambia/
Yet the small-scale farmers in this week’s story from Comoros are clear: government price controls designed to protect consumers from high food prices during Ramadan are threatening their income. On the other hand, government-imposed tariffs can sometimes benefit local farmers by ensuring that cheap imports do not drive down local food prices.
What role does the government play in regulating food prices in your broadcast area? Are there any explicit price controls or other farmer-support measures such as input subsidies? Are there rules or tariffs that regulate the import of foods from other countries? You may wish to research these government controls, then ask farmers to comment on how they affect their livelihoods.