Date Posted: August 20th, 2012
Farmers in both the Casamance region of Senegal and neighbouring Guinea Bissau rely heavily on the production and sale of raw cashews. As we saw in this week’s story, dependence on middlemen to purchase cash crops can put farmers in a difficult position.
While our FRW story focused on Casamance, cashew farmers in Guinea Bissau are also struggling this year: http://www.irinnews.org/Report/96106/GUINEA-BISSAU-Falling-cashew-exports-raise-hardship
Some have suggested that diversifying into new crops and products is the path for farmers in this area to obtain greater income and food security: http://www.irinnews.org/Report/86697/GUINEA-BISSAU-Beyond-cashews-and-rice
Our story discusses two ways that farmers can improve the price they obtain for their produce – processing and group marketing. Both of these goals can be achieved through agricultural co-operatives.
These stories look at how farmers have worked together to process a raw product, creating or improving income:
-Malawi: How making juice can save a forest (FRW #161, June 2011) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/06/27/malawi-how-making-juice-can-save-a-forest-ips/
-Burkina Faso: Women’s group finds new use for ‘green gold’ (FRW #100, February 2010) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/02/22/5-burkina-faso-women%E2%80%99s-group-finds-new-use-for-%E2%80%98green-gold%E2%80%99-by-mahoua-hien-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-burkina-faso/
These stories offer examples of farmers obtaining better prices through group marketing schemes:
-Zambia: Better incomes through sorghum (FRW 118, July 2010)http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/07/05/2-uganda-drama-and-song-raise-awareness-of-climate-change-by-sawa-pius-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-uganda/
-Burkina Faso: Women live better thanks to cooperative’s fair trade certification (FRW 68, June 2009)http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/06/01/1-burkina-faso-women-live-better-thanks-to-cooperative%E2%80%99s-fair-trade-certification-farm-radio-weekly/
-Uganda: Organic certification allows farmers to tap export market (FRW 68, June 2009) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/06/01/2-uganda-organic-certification-allows-farmers-to-tap-export-market-by-sawa-pius-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-kampala-uganda/
For Farm Radio International scripts on the subject of co-operatives, go to: http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/cooperatives.asp
Our latest script package, package 94, contains eight scripts and an issue pack on co-operatives. The issue pack gives examples of co-operatives, background information on co-operatives, production ideas for programming on co-operatives, and further resources on co-operatives – organizations, audio files, print documents, and a video. You can find package 94 at http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/
-Do farmers in your area work together to obtain better market prices for their products, or purchase inputs as a co-operative? You may wish to find a farmers’ group and prepare a news story or arrange an on-air interview which profiles the group and their efforts:
-Who are the members of this group? Are they grouped by area, the type of crop they produce, etc.?
-When did they come together? What were individual farmers’ experiences with processing and selling their crop prior to forming the group?
-Ask the members to describe in detail the procedure they use to process their goods, identify markets for their crops, gather them together, and sell them. Did they try other methods before determining that one method worked best?
-How much extra income do farmers earn as a result of group marketing, group processing, or group purchase of inputs? What are the other benefits of working as a group (for example, saving time, learning from each other, etc.)?