Improved Market Information Services programs increase farmers’ income and knowledge

    | July 29, 2013

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    In this week’s story from Cameroon, Ms. Ndongo made a good income by selling her produce directly to consumers.

    Farmers work hard to produce good crops. After all their work, buyers sometimes come to their farms, or meet them at the market, and pay farmers far less than they need to survive.

    What can farmers do about this situation? How can they find out which crops will give them the best price? One response to this question is: listen to Marketing Information Services (MIS) programs on a local radio station.

    MIS programs tell farmers the current market prices, helping them to start the bargaining process with up-to-date knowledge. With this information, farmers can make better choices about whether to take their produce to the local market or go to a nearby market that offers better prices.

    This script talks about the creative and effective MIS programs that were broadcast as part of Farm Radio’s African Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI). These programs went far beyond simply reading out market prices on the air. They educated farmers on how to plan for the coming year; they alerted farmers on price trends for different crops, and they told farmers which commodities were “hot” and which were not.

    The first part of this two-part script talks about MIS programs in Mali and Ghana, while part two talks about programs in Uganda and Tanzania and makes some observations about the best ways to broadcast MIS programs. &