Notes to broadcasters
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This is the third part of a five-part series about understanding and using market information. With accurate market information farmers can decide what crops to grow, and where and when to sell in order to get the best prices.
Ideally these programs should be run as a series, for example, once a day for five days or once a week for five weeks. It may be necessary to adapt these programs using local names and situations to make them familiar and acceptable to your listeners who should be able to identify with the characters and understand their dilemmas.
This episode is about decisions farmers make when selling their produce. They have several options, including: traders’ markets, village markets, or selling directly from their home. Farmers can investigate each of these options and decide which offers the best prices. However, these prices must be balanced with the costs and convenience of transporting produce to each of these locations.
Farmer (aged early 30s)
Farmer, Bakari’s wife (aged early 20s)
Trader (aged 40 years)
THEME MUSIC AND HOLD UNDER ANNOUNCER.
-Now it’s time for episode three of the radio drama “To Market, To Market” about understanding and using market information. In today’s episode, farmers Bakari and Isoke consider the advantages and disadvantages of selling in different locations. Bakari is tempted to return to a buyer he doesn’t trust – but who is now offering the greatest income and security. But his wife, Isoke, prefers to sell their produce directly to consumers.
FADE OUT THEME MUSIC.
SOUND OF DIGGING (SHOVEL HITTING THE EARTH). SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING.
-Oh! Tabansi, you surprised me. I didn’t hear you coming.
-I’m digging a bigger vegetable garden. My wife Isoke and I have decided we need to be more self-sufficient, now that the price of grain is so low. But what are you doing here? I have finished doing business with you.
-I’ve come with a new proposal for you.
-But how can I trust you? Your prices are low, and I’m not sure you are giving us the best price for our grain.
-We have done business together for a long time. I’m asking for another chance. I just want you to listen to my proposal.
-Well, I’m listening – but I promise nothing.
-I’ve arranged to supply a large supermarket with vegetables and I need several dependable farmers to grow for me.
-This arrangement would provide you with a regular income. I have already agreed on the price with the supermarket, so you will know in advance how much you will get.
-Perhaps fifty percent more than you are earning now. I’ll do my calculations and let you know exactly tomorrow.
-I’ll talk it over with Isoke, but you still haven’t convinced me. A leopard rarely changes its spots.
-If you don’t accept my offer you will be making a big mistake. I will guarantee you a higher price for vegetables than any other trader and your troubles will be over.
SOUND OF POTS AND PANS RATTLING IN THE KITCHEN.
-Your food smells delicious as always, Isoke. I’m so hungry after all that digging in the garden.
-Our meal is almost ready. Now, tell me again what the trader Tabansi said.
-Tabansi has made a deal with a big supermarket, and he needs farmers for a steady supply of produce. He wants to buy our produce on a regular basis.
-If Tabansi has made a deal with the supermarket, then why can’t we sell directly to a shop or supermarket ourselves? We would make more profit.
-We’ve had no luck so far Isoke – we already tried at the traders’market and that didn’t work. We’re farmers, not traders, I don’t know how to do business that way. Tabansi is used to all that wheeling and dealing. It might be a good idea to accept his offer. It would mean we’d be paid regularly.
-I really don’t want anything more to do with that trader Tabansi. We need to earn more income from our produce. I like the idea of selling directly to consumers. That way we don’t have to pay someone like Tabansi – instead we keep all the profit. Maybe we could even sell our grain directly to shoppers at the city market.
-But it might not be a convenient way for us to operate, Isoke. How can we take our produce to the city, and still look after the farm?
-I don’t see why we have to be so cautious.
-Well, remember this. Selling at the market in the city might bring us the best prices, but it’s so far away from here. It will cost us more money to get to the city – more than it costs us to deliver to the traders’ market.
-Well, I know we need to do something. The school fees are due. If we don’t pay soon, the children will be out of school.
-Then we must accept Tabansi’s offer. There’s no other way out of this situation.
-Oh Bakari, I really can’t agree. You know my mind on the subject of Tabansi. But sit now, your food is ready.
FADE UP THEME MUSIC. RUN 5 SECS. FADE OUT.
-You’ve been listening to “To Market, To Market,” our series about understanding and using market information. _____________ was Bakari. ____________ was Isoke, and ___________ was Tabansi. Bakari and Isoke are weighing the advantages and disadvantages of selling in different locations. Will they return to trading with Tabansi? Or will they go to the market themselves? Find out next time what decision Bakari and Isoke make.
Contributed by Christine Davet, Toronto, Canada.
Reviewed by Adrian Mukhebi, Executive Director, Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange (KACE), Nairobi, Kenya and Andrew Shepherd, Agricultural Support Systems Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome.