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.