It has been exactly 45 days since I planted my radish seeds. According to the seed packet this is the exact day that I should harvest them. True enough many are now in good size to harvest though there are still those that are smaller than the usual marketable size. Still there are plenty of radishes for me to sell.
I went to the local market 3 days ago and asked the retailers how much do they sell their radishes, one answered 50 pesos per kilogram.
Then I asked how much do they buy from the farmers if we bring it to their store, she answered 20 pesos per kilogram! Quite shocking for a newbie farmer since she has a markup of 150% from their buying price. I asked why it was that high, she irritatingly answered “Because we take the high risk if the vegetables would not sell and rot.” in Tagalog.
Good enough reason but as a farmer I had an equally good reason. I was the one who removed the weeds, tilled the land, took on the risk of my plants being infested by pests and diseases. I was also the one who waited patiently for them to grow. I could also give a reason that my radishes were not sprayed by chemical pesticides nor applied with chemical fertilizer therefore it is something organic, but I do not think it mattered to the end user nor to the retailer. All of my reason I kept to myself. It is not good to have a heated conversation/quarrel with my possible customer.
I also went to the nearby middleman and asked for their price. They said that they buy radish at 15 pesos per kilogram and sell at 20-25 pesos per kilogram. Wanting to sell my radish I said okay and asked how many do they need. “1 kilogram.” he answered. Wanting to do my very first sell I said yes, quickly walked to the farm and for the first time I earned 15 pesos! My ‘Buena Mano’ as we Filipinos call it. It felt good.
How do I sell my other radish which I estimate to be around 100 kilograms or more? I quickly thought of my options.
1. Sell to the middleman.
2. Sell to the retailer at the market.
3. Sell to the end user. Examples are the local people who cook their food and local eateries and restaurant.
My farm is situated 26 kilometers away from the town proper where the market and end users can be found. I don’t have any means of transportation except for the public transportation. With more than a hundred kilogram of radish at my disposal, I think I have a logistical problem.
What ever the case I need to sell my radish. I need to market it. I will frequently visit the middleman to ask how many does he need. I will frequently bring radishes to town and visit the retailers. If that’s not enough I will go from restaurant to restaurant. If that’s not enough I will go from house to house. Whatever the case, no matter how hard it is, I will sell my radish.