Ouagadougou Fofana, a farmer from the province of Mohoun, sits beneath a tree in his village of Kari. As a member of a farmers' union that sells surplus harvest to WFP through the P4P project, Mr. Fofana has earned enough income to take better care of his family. Copyright: WFP/Molly Slotznick
Ouagadougou Fofana, a father of thirteen, is now able to provide for his family thanks to WFP Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative, which guarantees an outlet for farmers’ produce in Burkina Faso. With increased production and income, Mr. Fofana’s means of survival has developed into a business that allows him to feed, clothe, and educate his family.
KARI—Mr. Ouagadougou Fofana, 46, sits in a courtyard under a tree smiling as several of his thirteen children hide behind their mothers. Mr. Fofana, a farmer in Kari, in the province of Mouhoun, 232 km west of the capital Ouagadougou, is now able to provide for his large family thanks to WFP’s collaboration with farmers in the area.
Mr. Fofana is a member of the Union of Groups for the Commercialisation of Agricultural Products for the Boucle du Mouhoun region (UGCPA-BM) – an umbrella for more than 85 farmers’ groups and 2,000 members. The Union has entered, since 2009, into a partnership with WFP through the Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative.
“With the money I now make from selling my harvests to UGCPA, I have become able to take better care of my family,” explained Mr. Fofana. “I can now afford to give them education, clothing and other needs.”
Growing business and profit
Through P4P, WFP assists smallholder farmers to increase their production and income. WFP buys directly from farmers’ associations like UGCPA and develops secure markets to help increase the sale of local surplus produce. By helping to fortify processed agricultural products, P4P also aims to increase the availability of nutritious foodstuffs on local markets.
“Agriculture has become a business. We no longer produce just to consume,” said Mr. Lohoun Pascal Bicara, a UGCPA board member. “Now we have additional expenses associated with the use of more inputs, such as tractor maintenance, labour costs, fertilizers and herbicides.”
The P4P initiative has made it easier for farmers to grow their farms into profitable businesses. Mr. Dioma Soumabéré, another UGCPA board member, explained that WFP has provided training and agricultural tools as well as flexible and reliable payment schedules.
Mr. Fofana himself has reaped many of the benefits of the P4P initiative. With his increased production, his family has become self-sufficient and has even been able to sell a surplus harvest of 10.5 metric tonnes of cereal per year to UGCPA.
Mr. Fofana is proud of his achievements and encourages others to join groups like UGCPA. “I hope that I can set an example for other farmers,” he says.