United Kingdom

Uganda Network

The Banana


The aim of this activity is to look at one commodity and to see the relative division between the grower and picker to that of the retailer.

  • The grower and picker - grows the bananas, picks them and transports them to the nearest port.
  • The Shipping Company takes them by ship from Africa to Europe.
  • The packer removes the bananas from the ship's container and packs them.
  • The importing company is responsible for bringing them into the European country.
  • The wholesaler buys large amounts from the importer and sells them to smaller buyers (retailers).The retailer, sells the bananas to you and me.
  1. Divide the Troop into small groups of equal numbers and name each group:
    • growers/ pickers
    • retailers
    • wholesalers
    • importing company
    • shipping company
    • packaging company
  2. Give out paper and pencils and a diagram of a banana.
  3. Tell everybody that a banana costs 20p.
  4. Put the blank banana up on the wall, marked 20p, and ask each group to decide how much it deserves of the final banana price (dependent upon the amount of labour and other costs the group feels it must meet).
  5. After five minutes get each group to present its case. Write the amounts upon the blank banana.
  6. If the total comes to over 20p, get them to negotiate between themselves until it comes back to 20p.
  7. Click here to reveal the true situation.
    • How do the two sets of divisions compare?
  8. Give the pickers knives and allow each group to actually take its share from the pickers' bananas.
    • How do the pickers feel?
    • Which group gets the fairest deal?
    • Can the group think of any ways to give the growers and pickers a better cut?

The United Kingdom has a very complex economy with a great variety of industries involving trade all around the world. Uganda and many other developing countries in the world are not as fortunate in having a great variety of products to trade and are very dependent on one or two commodities to sell to markets round the world.

Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda's economy.

It accounts for 80% of its foreign exchange earnings. Coffee is the leading foreign exchange earner but other crops such as tea, tobacco and sugar-cane are also grown for export.

Uganda is one of many countries caught in the debt trap. The government borrowed money from the World Bank (before interest rates soared) to invest in industry and in the people.

Coffee was an important crop but interest rates rose, as did the amount of coffee in the world market, reducing the price and therefore reducing the income. The amount of money they owed to the World Bank increased. Many countries are still trying hard to increase their income and repay their debts by growing products that the developed world wants. The amount of money Uganda spends on their education service and health facilities is limited and little money is available to develop a range of industries.

Programme Ideas

  1. Word Search
    Ask the Scouts to find the words relating to the economy which are hidden in the word-search
  2. Money, Money, Money
    Invite a local business person, bank or building society manager to come and talk to the Scouts about development, borrowing money, interest rates and inflation.
  3. Double your Money
    If the Scouts had their pocket money or earnings reduced by half how would they manage? Could they generate some income? Give each Patrol a small amount of money and ask them to work together to double the amount.



Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 5 January 2004


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