Notes to broadcasters
Making a budget is an important part of every farmer’s financial plan. If farmers learn to make and use a budget, they can:
- Earn more money from crops and livestock.
- Determine whether or not they can afford new tools or equipment, or to pay other expenses such as the cost of hiring extra labour.
- Determine which crops will be the most profitable, and how much of each crop to grow.
- Identify potential financial problems in advance, for example, places where too much money is being spent. Farmers can then correct the problems before their whole business is affected.
In this story a young woman shares her personal experience of financial planning. A narrator is used to repeat important information and to encourage listeners to reflect on their own circumstances. This script can be used together with script #1 (Farmers profit from a budget) in this package.
Suggestions for further scripts on this topic:
- A group of farmers create a budget for a community project.
- Budgets for farmers who do not read or write.
- How to keep accurate records of your sales and expenses.
- Keep good crop records.
When my husband and I married we received a plot of land from my father-in-law. The soil was very fertile. The first few years we had large harvests and made a good living. We were free of problems. Or at least, that’s what I thought.
Then one day, when we were planning a trip to the city to buy seed for the next crop, we realized we didn’t have enough money for seed. There was not even enough money for transport to town!
Well, we didn’t know what to do. Where was our money? What did we spend it on? We didn’t know. We had never kept records of the money we earned or spent. If we couldn’t buy seed, how could we make enough money to buy food for our young children? We were very worried. We thought we might have to sell our land, just to buy food to eat.
Luckily, I had a friend at the bank. Actually, she was a woman my own age – we played together as children. She had done well. I asked for her help. She arranged a small loan to cover our expenses. But she taught us something else – something much more important than how to get a loan. She taught us how to keep records and to make a budget. And making a budget saved our farm business. Now I do a budget every season. In my opinion, it’s the most important part of a successful farm.
FADE IN QUIET MUSIC AND HOLD UNDER NARRATOR
FADE OUT MUSIC
Here’s how I make my budget. Several months before the beginning of every growing season I make two lists. The first list includes everything I will spend money on to produce my crop. In other words, it includes all my costs, all the ways that money will go out.
Things I will buy: seeds, fertilizer, livestock feed,
Things to repair: bicycle tire,
Loans I will pay: fertilizer loan,
FADE IN MUSIC AND HOLD UNDER NARRATOR.
HOLD MUSIC (10 seconds) AND FADE OUT
If I’m planting just the same amount and mixture of crops, then I assume my costs will be the same as last year. So I record what I spent last year for that item. But if I’m going to change things on the farm, I adjust my budget. Also, sometimes the cost of fuel goes up. (Laughing) It almost never goes down! When prices go up or down, I have to adjust my budget to account for the rising or falling prices.
Things I will sell: maize, goat milk, groundnuts, fruit jams and sauces. Money I will borrow: a loan from my uncle, and one from my sister-in-law.
Contributed by Vijay Cuddeford, Toronto, Canada.
Reviewed by Bruce Fraser, Finance Officer, International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR), The Hague, The Netherlands.
ISNAR Training Module: Financial Management for Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management. International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR), PO Box 93375, 2509 AJ The Hague, The Netherlands. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org This module is available on the ISNAR website
em>Basic Farm Calculations II, Training in Agriculture Series, #201, 1989. Inades-Formation Kenya, 15, avenue Jean Mermoz, Cocody – Abidjan 08 B.P. 8 – Abidjan 08, Ivory Coast. Tel: (225) 44 31 28/44 31 29, Fax: (225) 44 06 41.