Food aid program helps farmers plan ahead

Published on 28 April 2009

Like most inhabitants of Bogni, a small farming village in northern Ghana, Mahamadu Zuuru has been a peasant farmer all his life. He grows a mix of crops: maize, sorghum, field peas and ground nuts, among others. Yet he does not produce enough to feed his family, let alone surplus that he could sell at a profit. (…)Zuuru considered borrowing a bag of maize from a wealthier community member. This is normal practice – those who are better off lend foods to poorer people during the peak hunger season. After harvesting, Zuuru would have to pay back double the quantity borrowed. But Zuuru was about to receive more good news from "the NGO people." During the planning and design of FARM-2, it was considered unfair to give seeds to poor farmers who had nothing to eat at the time and to insist they plant all the seeds without eating any. And so the World Food Programme (WFP) had been approached to assist the farmers with food so they could eat while they planted the seeds and waited for the harvest.

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