Liberia: Smallholders market commodities through cooperative

In 2009, the Dokodan Farmers Cooperative had signed a contract to supply 80 tons of milled parboiled rice to WFP. Aggregating the marginal individual surpluses produced by its smallholder members, the group was now able to supply the rice to WFP at competitive rates.

Moses N. Phillips, Chairman of the cooperative in Nimba County in north-central Liberia, overflowed with pride and joy as he spoke to a gathering of local government officials and members of his group: “For the first time, we are getting the full reward for our efforts and we are very happy about it”, he said, adding proudly, “Even President Sirleaf has visited and commended us.”
Alice Tamba, a 39-year old single mother, supplied 300 kg of paddy rice to help fulfil the contract, and received US$100 for her rice. Smiling when she received her payment, she noted, “This is my first time ever to earn such an amount of money. In the past, the traders used to give us low prices for our rice. Now we get a good price.”
Under P4P, WFP is looking for new ways to use its purchasing power to support smallholders. Partners provide technical assistance on improving productivity and quality – quality for which farmers receive a fair price.
The mother of three added that her eldest son could not be in high school during the current academic year because she could not afford the fees. But she was all smiles when she declared, “he will go back to school as I can now take care of the home and pay his school fees.”