Nelly Bassily | February 8, 2010
There are many factors that shape the market for a product and how much a farmer can expect to earn. These factors are constantly changing, meaning farmers need to be prepared to change their marketing approach, when necessary, to maintain their incomes.
You may wish to host a call-in/text-in show that allows farmers to discuss the local market situation – the challenges they face and methods they have used to obtain better prices. Here are some questions to ask:
-How do farmers in your area typically sell their produce? Do they feel that this system allows them to earn a fair price?
-What methods do farmers use to obtain information about current market prices?
-Do farmers in your area store their crops until the market price is favourable? How do they prevent damage to their stored products?
-Do farmers organize themselves into selling cooperatives to strengthen their bargaining power?
If there are farmers’ groups in your area, you may wish to prepare a news story or arrange an on-air interview which profiles the group and their marketing 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 selling their crop prior to forming the group?
-Ask the members to describe in detail the process they use to 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? What are the other benefits of working as a group (saving time, learning from each other, etc)?
Finally, you may wish to revisit Farm Radio International’s script series on marketing agricultural products, “To Market, To Market,” which was published as part of Package 66 in March 2003:
-“Episode 1: Trusting the trader: the importance of reliable information”
-“Episode 2: A glut in the market – how supply and demand affect prices”
-“Episode 3: Where to sell: making the best choice”
-“Episode 4: Marketing: calculating your costs”
-“Episode 5: Farmers’ helpers: radio and extension help farmers plan”