It's hard to sell the hard sell
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CTA. 1999. It's hard to sell the hard sell . Spore 83. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46505
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore83.pdf
seminar on Financing the Marketing of Agricultural Products held in N'djamena, Chad, June 1999
It takes money to make money, which means that low-resource farmers cannot maximise their earnings since they cannot invest adequately in the marketing chain. Lack of finance means less-than-satisfactory market research, inadequate stocks, poor storage and distribution, as well as poor cash flow and no means of chasing bad debtors. A seminar on Financing the Marketing of Agricultural Products held in N'djamena, Chad, last June showed how farmers would gain from pooling resources in their collective organisations. This way they would meet their own credit needs, and, most important, find it easier to get guarantee funds and credit from banks and financial institutions. Case studies of marketing chains of bananas, coffee, and gum Arabic in western Africa all pointed to the need to help banks improve their risk analysis and overcome their hesitations in giving credit for marketing efforts. Yet again, it is a question of selling to bankers the idea that agricultural marketing is a sound risk. As always, a key concern for CTA is to ensure the availability of information, so that farmers' organisations can prepare sound marketing plans and credit applications, and negotiate from a position of strength. The seminar, co-organised by CTA with the International Labour Office (ILO) and supported by ILO's ACOPAM and the United Nations Development Programme, was attended by 37 representatives of NGOs, support agencies, farmers' organisations, and financial institutions from 14 French-speaking countries of western and central Africa. An earlier seminar on Marketing and Distribution of Perishable Food Products, held in Madrid in April, looked at constraints, in particular at the issues of regular supply, standards, quality control, market information, and promotion campaigns. Trends in domestic and European markets were examined; the surveys also covered niche markets such as those for natural and organic foods and included field visits to distribution centres. Seminar participants came from Angola, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Some were from public sector bodies, but many were from the private sector. They commented that the private sector should be more closely involved in the renegotiation of the Lomé Convention and that private companies should be supported by their governments. Their statement suggests that the pressure on ACP governments to remove subsidies for exports while Europe's Common Agricultural Policy allows subsidies on production is an approach that should itself be 'perishable'. The seminar, co-organised and funded by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and CTA, was a sequel to a similar event held in Madrid in 1998 for French-speaking countries.