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Farmers’ views on bean marketing …

A short radio series called INUKA was developed to start conversations with bean farmers in Tanzania. It was broadcast on Radio Free Africa, a station with nationwide coverage in Tanzania. The third episode was broadcast on Sunday 21 June 2015 between  7:00 – 7:30 pm. It was commissioned by N2Africa and production co-ordinated by Farm Radio International.

The poll question was designed to understand marketing beans. A total of 1360 listeners participated in the poll.

Question 1: “Do you think selling beans is a profitable business?”

  • 1228 ( 90%)  yes
  • 132 (10%) no

Based on their answer to question 1, participants were given the chance to answer a follow up question to explain further on their choices above.

Question 2: Why do you think selling beans can/cannot be a profitable business ?”

A total of 992 listener left a voice mail message about beans.

For those who said that bean is a profitable business, the following were their major reasons;

  • Bean Markets are normally close to farmers hence they do not incur huge transport costs to the market
  • Majority of people consume beans throughout the year hence the market for beans is consistent
  • It takes up to four months to harvest beans comparing to other crops such as maize which normally take longer than that
  • Bean farm do not need as close supervision as other crops hence the costs involved for supervision of a bean farm are normally lower.
  • Bean farming requires a basic knowledge – Farmers reveal that unlike other crops, bean farming does not require any special farming knowledge hence makes it cheaper to manage a bean farm than other crops.

Those who said that selling beans cannot be a profitable business said:

  • that a lot of farmers are growing beans hence in most cases there is flooding of beans in the market and hence the price normally goes down

Listeners were also given a chance to leave questions which they had about bean business. Majority of farmers who left their questions wanted to know the following:

  • Things to consider to be successful bean sellers.
  • Types of beans which attract best price in the market
  • Where are the best markets.