Quality standards in Kenya

WFP/Gabrielle Menendez

Learning about quality is one of the P4P benefits most commonly mentioned by farmers involved in the initiative. In Kenya, P4P enabled a group of women victims of ethnic violence to start selling to WFP. Their success inspired other farmers’ organizations.

In 2009, WFP wanted to buy maize from the Koptegei Widows Group, an association of 87 women widowed by ethnic violence or AIDS in the Transmara region.  As most of them were illiterate, they were unable to participat in a regular tender to sell crops to WFP. Instead the agency negotiated directly with them a contract for 250 metric tons of maize.  Through P4P, the group was trained in quality control, food storage and handling, and basic warehouse management. They also borrowed equipment – temporary warehouses (wiikhalls), tarpaulins, weigh scales, stitching machines, and a generator. Equity Bank provided the farmers with small loans at preferential rates to buy seeds and fertilizers. The group managed to deliver 150 metric tons on that first contract. WFP paid them through a 'fast-track' payment process to allow them to purchase seeds and fertilizers for the next season without obtaining loans. This year, the Koptegei Widows Group was able to participate in a WFP tender for 1019 metric tones of maize. Contracts were award to them and to another eight organizations which had been inspired by their experience. All commitments were met and delivered on time. The farmers used the profits from their sales of maize to WFP to pay school fees for their children and lease more land to cultivate maize. With the assistance of a grant through USAID COMPETE, the Cereal Growers Association is working with the farmers to construct and operate their own village warehouses.