MAPUTO – Farm animals and low-tech equipment – including ox carts, animal-drawn ploughs and bicycles – are to be delivered to smallholder farmers in Manica and Tete Provinces by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The purchase of the machinery has been made possible by a donation of some US$54,000 from USAID.
A ceremony to mark the event is being held today, 17 September, in Bárue with theProvincial Governor, district authorities, aid agencies and members of local farmers’ associations in attendance.
WFP will provide a total of 22 oxen, 12 oxcarts, 12 ploughs and 12 weeder machines to the following associations: Samora Machel, Siwama and Cooperativa Kuguta Kuchanda in Manica Province, and Tilimbique and Chigurizano in Tete Province.
More than 200 special bicycles,adapted for use in rural areas, will be given to women farmers at a subsidised price so they can more easily reach local markets. With the assistance of Banco Opportunidade, a revolving fund will be established using the money paid for the bicycles to support other initiatives.
The donation has been made in support of WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme, which aims to create markets for more than 21,000 farmers in Manica, Tete, Nampula, Zambézia and Sofala provinces. P4P is designed to build the capacity of farmers’ associations and smallholder farmers, enabling them to become more competitive and more productive.
To increase opportunities for women in P4P, WFP - in collaboration with international aid organizations Tillers International, the Cooperative League of the USA (CLUSA) and the Men for Change Network (HOPEM) - introduced a gender programme earlier this year in Manica and Tete which included needs assessment, training and follow-up activities.
The results of the assessment showed that lack of transport and animal traction equipment were primary constraints on the productivity of farmers.
“Supporting women is part of WFP’s gender strategy to ensure they have equal opportunities to improve productivity in their fields and compete with men in accessing markets,” says WFP Representative and Country Director Abdoulaye Balde.
After receiving the equipment, the farmerswill undergo training on its use by facilitators from CLUSA, Tillers International, HOPEM and Banco Oportunidade.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.
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