Nelly Bassily | September 27, 2010
Finding a market is often the first concern for farmers who want to sell their goods. Without an accessible and viable market, many farmers will not or cannot invest in increasing production. Yet finding markets, whether for fresh or processed goods, is not always straightforward.
In this story, the farmers in the irrigation scheme have succeeded in achieving food security, improving their diets, and earning some income. They are ready to take the next step. But they face various challenges, some of which are unique to their situation, such as the high price of fuel.
More information about the irrigation scheme can be found at: http://www.proafrica.net/index.html.
For more discussion and information about accessing markets, here are some resources:
UN Food and Agriculture Organization pages on agricultural marketing :http://www.fao.org/ag/ags/subjects/en/agmarket/agmarket.html
Basic background information and links from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_marketing
Farm Radio Weekly has published various stories from Africa about how farmers deal with the challenge of finding a market. You can refer to these stories:
– Cameroon: Pilot market eliminates middlemen from chicken sales :http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/01/05/cameroon-pilot-market-eliminates-middlemen-from-chicken-sales-by-lilianne-nyatcha-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-douala-cameroon/
– Uganda: Group marketing restores farmer profits after conflict: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/12/15/1-uganda-group-marketing-restores-farmer-profits-after-conflict-leisa-magazine-low-external-input-and-sustainable-agriculture/
-Ivory Coast: Banana farmers and traders seek regional markets: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/02/08/1-cote-d%E2%80%99ivoire-banana-farmers-and-traders-seek-regional-markets-ips/
– Malawi: Adding value sweetens profits for honey producers: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/04/14/1-malawi-adding-value-sweetens-profits-for-honey-producers-farm-radio-weekly-commonwealth-news-and-information-service/
-Uganda: Women farmers drive the economy with sunflower oil: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/11/24/uganda-women-farmers-drive-the-economy-with-sunflower-oil-by-sawa-pius-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-kampala-uganda/
You may also 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:
You might consider developing a program based on farmers sharing their experiences of successfully accessing markets. You could interview individual farmers, farmer organizations and co-operatives to cover the different options for marketing produce. Ask how each option can address challenges such as those faced in this story – poor roads, high transportation costs and perishable produce.