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Mangoes for all seasons: Kenyan farmers profit by drying and selling mangoes all year round

Two of this week’s Farmer stories show how farmers are benefiting by processing their raw produce into juice and various other products. Our Script of the week also discusses ways that farmers can add value to their produce—mangoes, in this case.

Farmers in Murang’a County, in Kenya’s central region, are drying their fruit and vegetables with a locally-made solar drier to make high-value products. The mangoes and other fruits and vegetables are sliced into small pieces, dried, and then packed. The dried fruits and vegetables are then sold to Azuri Health Ltd., a private company that introduced the farmers to the solar drying system. Azuri Health also teaches the farmers about processing and marketing their products.

This script shows one way that fruit and vegetable growers can capture a larger share of the value in fruit and vegetable value chains. By receiving training and instructions on how to make solar driers from Azuri Health Ltd., the farmers added value to their produce and received higher prices. The company benefited by getting a reliable supply of quality fruits and vegetables, which it, in turn, sells to buyers.

This script is based on actual interviews. You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on a similar topic in your area. Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.

Do you know of similar partnerships between companies and farmers in your listening area? There might also be partnerships between NGOs and farmers. Being involved in such a partnership is no guarantee of success for farmers, of course. Farmers must be careful that the terms of the contract—whether written or verbal—between themselves and the other party are clear, fair, and favourable to the farmers. The farmers featured in this script received clear benefits. But perhaps you know of projects where farmers were not treated fairly, or did not receive benefits.

You could air this program, and follow it with an open discussion (with phone-in and text-in) about partnerships between companies and farmers. In what circumstances are these partnerships beneficial to farmers? Where can farmers turn for assistance to ensure that partnerships will be beneficial?