51-year old Desiderina Sánchez has worked the fields in Los Posos in the mountainous Lempira region in western Honduras for over 20 years. She grows beans and maize on her small plot of land. A single mother, she has long been the only provider for her family of five children and one grandchild.
For Desiderina, becoming a farmer was never really a personal choice, but something she fell into because of a lack of other opportunities: “I never really had a chance to do anything else,” said Desiderina, “farming was something I was born into.”
Desiderina has been a member of the farmers’ organization “Associación Popular de Desarrollo Integral” for over 20 years. For six years, she served as a member of its board of directors, working to promote the organization and to encourage other farmers to join. And while she has always benefited from her membership in the organization, the greatest benefits have come through since she became a part of the P4P programme earlier this year.
“Before P4P,” said Desiderina, “I sold my crops to small traders. But they don’t care about the quality of my grains; they would just come to my door and pay me cash for anything I had to sell. They didn’t give me a very good price, but still I was glad to simply being able to sell my grains to somebody.”
Through P4P, Desiderina now has an alternative market for her grains. “I even don’t mind that I have to rent equipment to process my grains,” she says. “With P4P, I know I will be able to sell my grains for a fair price. WFP demands a high quality, but also provides good training for me and the other farmers so that we will be able to access better markets.”
Thanks to the P4P programme which brings together WFP’ demand for basic commodities with the technical assistance of partners, Desiderina has discovered a newfound interest in farming, and so far, has not missed a single training or workshop organized by P4P. After also receiving agricultural inputs, including hybrid seeds, insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides, Desiderina says: “Now I enjoy farming again. I am glad I finally have a chance to learn new techniques, and to attend trainings, because I know that with the help of P4P, I am going to more than double my harvest, and improve my own life as well!”