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Radio boosts profits for farmers in Bolivia


05 April 2010

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A radio broadcast supported by the IICD is helping farmers in Bolivia get a better price for their produce by equipping them with crop price updates on a daily basis.

An IICD-supported radio broadcast that provides information on crop prices to Bolivian farmers in Santa Cruz is now being broadcast nation-wide.

The programme makes farmers more aware of how much they can ask for their products when they sell them, thus increasing their profits.

Radio boosts profits for farmers in Bolivia
Image Credits: www.freeimages.co.uk / At a later stage the crop-price information for farmers is expected to reach 3.5 million listeners throughout Bolivia

Since late January 2010, the show is being aired through the network of the national radio station, Radio Santa Cruz, twice a day. At first the radio broadcast would only focus on reading crop price information. At a later stage there is also the possibility that the information will be integrated in an existing show that gives listeners the chance to ask questions too. The information is expected to reach 3.5 million listeners throughout Bolivia. 

Helping farmers to get a better price

Juan Jose Saldias of Radio Santa Cruz says, “We want to broadcast this information on a national scale as this is more than just a thing that’s nice to have. This will really help farmers in their daily struggle to get a good price for their hard work.”

The radio broadcast is being funded and supported by IICD for the start-up period. After April the departmental government will take over funding, but IICD will still provide strategic and technical advice on the development of new information services for farmers.

Prices collected on a daily basis

The price information broadcast is part of an IICD-supported project in the department of Santa Cruz to create an agriculture information and communication system.

The project team collects price information in the most important wholesale markets on a daily basis. The information is then diffused in different ways.

Firstly, prices are updated on a daily basis on the web site sicsantacruz.com. In addition, extension officers and farmer associations in all 16 provinces are trained to use the information to plan their production and sales in a more profitable way. Finally, the information reaches farmers in rural areas by the radio broadcast.

'A considerable improvement in income'

The project has been a success so far, says Stijn van der Krogt, Country Programme Manager of IICD. “Farmers indicated that since starting the project on a smaller scale in 2008, they are able to negotiate around a 10% increase in their prices with intermediaries. This represents a considerable improvement in income of especially the small farmers.”

Over the next few months, possibilities will be explored to have farmers ask questions via a text-based mobile question and answer service.

 
Source : IICD

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