Getting a fair price for a crop can be very difficult, particularly for farmers in remote areas. Strategies for better marketing include value addition, group bulking and storing of produce, and use of ICTs to access market information and make sales.
The Njunu tea factory in Kenya is unusual, because it is owned by 3,500 smallholder tea farmers. By doing their own processing, from green leaf to the fermented, dried, cleaned and graded finished product, these farmers have been able to access markets in Europe and earn a good price. Production manager, Samuel Mwangi, takes Eric Kadenge on a tour of the factory, explaining just how they produce the tea that is regarded as the third best quality in the world.
published: June 2009
Banana farmers in Uganda are being trained and helped to form business groups by TechnoServe, an international development organisation. As a result, they have seen their earnings from bananas rise by 70 per cent, not least through their improved skills in the marketplace. The organisation is also promoting a dairy programme, as well as poultry and fruit farming, to ensure that diets are improved as well as incomes raised. Erastus Kibugu, in charge of TechnoServe's Uganda office, explains the work which has transformed 11,000 subsistence banana growers into successful, commercial producers.
published: May 2009
By making yoghurt, dairy farmers can add value to their milk and lengthen its shelf-life. And by adding sugar and flavouring, they can make products that will appeal to a wide range of people, from children to the elderly. In The Gambia, the Kombo North Dairy Cooperative is a group of cattle farmers who have set up a yoghurt making business, which is now supplying local supermarkets. Ismaila Senghore visited their dairy to learn from dairy specialist Matar Charreh about how yoghurt is made. He also spoke to one of the farmers who has improved his income thanks to the new business, and to a customer who buys yoghurt from the dairy. See Yoghurt making - adding value to milk.
published: March 2009
In July 2008, the EU gave baobab fruit Novel Foods approval, legalising its use as a food ingredient for European manufacturers. Baobab fruit pulp is rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium and phosphorus, and is pro-biotic, stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. As such, it has enormous potential as an ingredient in healthy foods and snacks, and dozens of companies are now conducting product development. So does this mean that baobab harvesters can expect to earn an income from their fruit, and what about risks to sustainability? Dr Nonto Nemarundwe of PhytoTrade Africa offers some answers.
published: February 2009
Mariam Asigri, a teacher from Kumasi, Ghana, used to make banana juice at Christmas time as a gift for friends and family. But her juice was so popular she decided to make it a business. Now the director of MASIG Natural Fruits Industries, she explains how the juice is made, and her marketing strategy.
published: January 2009
The biggest banana exporters in the world can be found in South America. However, banana traders are turning their attention to Africa as a new source of bananas for the global market. Director of a banana-trade NGO, Banana Link, explains why this is happening and the implications for African banana production. In particular, he advises smallholder farmers that the export market is unlikely to be their best option when looking to sell their crop.
published: January 2009
Exports of honey from Uganda to markets in Europe and the Middle East have fallen dramatically in the last three years. Low honey production is the main cause, with beekeepers struggling to access credit that could fund expansion and improvement in their businesses. The Bunyagabo Beekeeping Community in the Rwenzori Mountains sources honey from over 500 beekeepers, which it sells in markets both locally and in Kampala. The organisation offers training and other support to its members. But community member Simplicio Masereka believes that building an even bigger union among Uganda's honey producers would give them access to lucrative world markets. He explains his view in Beekeepers unite to reach world markets.
published: December 2008
For farmers growing matooke - Uganda's plantain banana - effective marketing of their crop can be difficult. Prices paid by traders are highly variable and it is common to see bananas rotting on the tree as farmers fail to find a buyer. Recently, however, the government has launched an initiative to support banana processing. Farmers are being taught how to dry their fruit, so that they can be made into flour, and this is now beginning to replace wheat flour in local diets. Pius Sawa talks to the director of the initiative, to a food processor, a chef, and to people on the street in Kampala, about this exciting development for banana growers, and tries some matooke-flour soup.
published: October 2008
For vegetable growers in the developing world, selling produce to lucrative European markets can sound like a dream. Buyers demand very high standards of production and large volumes are needed on a regular basis for international trade. Could small-scale farmers ever hope to get involved in the export business? Yes they can, says Joseph Tontoh of the Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana. The Association of 200 farmers, including 130 small scale outgrowers, exports chillies, aubergines and other vegetables to wholesale vegetable markets in Europe. Many of the outgrowers are school leavers just starting their farming businesses. Hear their story in Stronger together - Ghana's vegetable exporters.
published: September 2008
Agriculture and agro-industry form the backbone of the African economy in terms of GDP, employment, food security and trade. And, as African business conditions become more favourable, producers, processors and traders are increasingly making an impact in exporting to Europe. At the Agribusiness Forum 2008, Mamadou Djite received the EMRC Agribusiness Award for his success in exporting fresh fruit and vegetables from Senegal to Europe. In Senegal's award-winning agribusiness Mamadou talks about the secrets of his export success, and Idit Miller, Vice President of the European Marketing Research Centre, explains why he was given the award.
published: September 2008
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