Notes to broadcasters
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This is the first 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, crops and situations to make them familiar and acceptable to your listeners, who should be able to identify with the characters and understand their problems.
The cast of five characters continues throughout the series, although not every character appears in each scene. In casting the roles of the characters, remember that the human ear does not distinguish very well between voices. Choose actors with different qualities to their voices so that listeners can quickly and easily identify which character is speaking. Work with the performers to emphasize vocal differences and speech patterns. The voices should correspond to the characters’ different ages.
This episode emphasizes to farmers the importance of getting market prices from a reliable source before selling farm produce. Listeners learn the importance of investigating different sources of market information to compare prices.
Farmer (aged early 30s)
Farmer, Bakari’s wife (aged early 20s)
Trader (aged 40 years)
THEME MUSIC AND HOLD UNDER HOST.
-Getting market information is a constant challenge for farmers. But farmers need information about market prices so they can decide what crops to grow, and where and when to sell to get the best prices. Today’s program is the first of a five-part series called “To Market, To Market.-Episode 1,” which you are about to hear, explores different ways farmers can get information about prices for their products before they sell. You’ll meet farmers Bakari and Isoke, a husband and wife team who learn that they need reliable, up-to-date information so they can make decisions about marketing their crops.
FADE OUT THEME MUSIC.
SOUND OF BICYCLE BELL RINGING.
FADE UP SOUNDS OF MEN ARGUING.
) Mr. Tabansi, I don’t know how we can continue to survive on the prices you pay us for our [grain]. [Insert name of crop common in your region
) Look here, Bakari, it’s not my fault that prices are so low.
-But I rely on you to give me a good price. I don’t have time to go to market myself! I need to know that you are giving me the best price for my [grain].
-I’m telling you that I am giving you a fair market price. You’re lucky I’m here to buy from you.
) I don’t feel lucky. I’m going inside the house to do some thinking. Good day!
SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS, DOOR SLAMMING.
-Bakari, my dear husband, is everything okay? I heard you arguing with the trader again.
-Isoke, I’m so angry! Tabansi says the price of [grain] has dropped again. We get less and less money from him every year. We may not be able to afford school fees for the children this year.
) Oh no Bakari! We must send the children to school. Are you sure the trader Tabansi is telling the truth?
-I don’t know. I used to trust him. But now I think maybe he’s getting greedy and keeping more money for himself.
-We have to find out if that is true. The only solution is to find out for ourselves what price traders are paying for [grain] at the market at this time.
-I know there is something called a Market Information Service. It is operated by the Government. Our neighbour Chege was telling me about it.
-He said that the Market Information Service gives farmers the prices of products from some of the main markets – the traders’ markets and the city markets. Somehow we must get that information.
-But how? (Laughing
) I’m sure the government is not going to send someone all the way to our farm to knock on our door and inform us personally.
-Now you’re making fun of me just because I keep my ears open and remember information that could be useful in our dealings with the trader.
-Yes, I’m poking a little fun at you because you’re so serious. Really, I’m very happy to have a clever wife like you. But still, I’m not sure how we can get those market prices.
-Maybe there’s more than one way to get the selling prices. We can ask other traders about market prices. We can also talk to our neighbours about the prices they are getting. Maybe you could talk to Mr. Hamisi. He grows crops similar to ours.
-I don’t know. Remember Hamisi likes to boast. He’s bound to stretch the truth and tell you he got a higher price than he actually did. But let’s talk to our neighbour Chege. We know he is honest.
-Okay. You talk to Chege and I’ll try to find out more about the government information service for farmers. Perhaps, if we get the right information, we can still make a profit. And pay for the children’s education!
MUSICAL BREAK (5 seconds).
) Mr. Tabansi, I talked with my neighbour who was at the market yesterday. He said the traders were giving much higher prices for [grain] than you are paying me. And yesterday we listened to the market prices on the radio. They were exactly as he said. That’s the last time you will take advantage of us.
) I’m telling you, I gave you the best price possible. You can’t expect me to pay you what they pay at the market. I have to transport the [grain], and that costs money, you know.
-Tabansi, we have made our decision. We will find someone else to buy from us. But this time my wife Isoke and I will make sure we have up-to-date information from reliable people before we sell our produce. Good-bye!
SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS WALKING AWAY.
) You can’t do this to me Bakari! I have many mouths to feed!
-No more than I do. It’s strange to say that by cheating us, you’ve done us a favour. You’ve made us aware that we need to take control of our little business and inform ourselves about the market prices for our produce.
-You’ve been listening to “To Market, To Market.” (Insert name of performer) was Bakari, _________________ was his wife Isoke, and ________________ was Tabansi. As their story shows, there are several sources of market information available to farmers. Using different sources of information about prices will allow Bakari and Isoke to make better decisions when marketing their crop. Tune in next time when Bakari travels to the traders’ market to see if he can get better prices for his [grain].
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.