A closer look at the farmers whose lives are being changed by P4P.
The Burkina Faso delegation tours RAB Processors Limited, a private sector company supported by WFP to link smallholders to markets.In late 2014, Malawi hosted a delegation from Burkina Faso, including representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, farmers’ organizations and WFP staff. The delegation was particularly interested in the commodity exchange (CEX) and Warehouse Receipts System (WRS), mechanisms that enable smallholder farmers in Malawi to access storage facilities, credit and markets.
Smallholder Wilber Munjile obtained a tractor on loan through WFP’s collaboration with NWK services. With income from providing services to other farmers, Wilber is able to meet most of his household’s expenses and service his tractorIn Zambia, P4P brings together numerous partners to help farmers access a broad range of services, such as training, equipment and inputs.
Increasing farmers’ access to simple technologies for storage, treatment and processing can substantially improve grain quality and contribute to reducing post-harvest losses. In Burkina Faso, P4P-supported farmers’ organizations participated in a WFP action research trial, providing specialized training and access to storage equipment.
Today, P4P is building on the success of the trial in collaboration with a variety of partners, including local entrepreneurs, to provide smallholders with equipment for the post-harvest treatment of crops.
Muhawenimana Triphonie uses her mobile phone to get information on market prices. Using this information, and marketing skills learned under P4P, she is now able to earn fair prices for her maize.The Government of Rwanda is taking ownership of and scaling up P4P under a state-run initiative called “Common P4P” (CP4P), which increases the reach of effort to support smallholder farmers.
Purchase for Progress (P4P) supports smallholder farmers to supply food for school meals through home grown school feeding (HGSF) projects. HGSF projects are implemented by governments with the support of partners, including WFP. By linking local agricultural production with school meals, HGSF can increase enrolment and attendance, improve food security of school children, provide farmers with an assured market for their crops and boost local economies. Though this model is ideal, the reality of linking smallholder farmers and school feeding programmes can be challenging.
Sierra Leone produced large quantities of rice before a protracted civil war. The conflict led to the prolonged displacement of people – most of whom were farmers – leaving many rice paddies overgrown and unusable. This made it difficult for farmers to rebuild their livelihoods once the conflict ended.
Today, smallholder farmers are some of the poorest and most food insecure communities in the country.
"Busha budete.” These two words keep recurring as Yonal Lamiso speaks during a community conversation in Anja Chefa, a village near Hawassa in southern Ethiopia. The phrase means “bad culture,” and it refers to what women are not allowed to do in the community under customary law.
His wife, Nigist Melese, elaborates: “In our culture women are not allowed to learn, wives are prepared to get married,” she says, before describing how things are beginning to change, at least in their family.
Many smallholder farmers, especially women, struggle to access productive resources and profit from their agricultural labour. P4P’s gender strategy suggested the provision of time- and labour-saving technologies as a vital step towards improving women farmers’ agricultural productivity and access to formal markets. Emerging lessons learned confirm the benefits these technologies can have for women farmers, who generally profit little from their long hours of manual labour.
While women in Burkina Faso are active in the agricultural sector, few own land, instead working on family farms owned and managed by their husbands or male relatives. Because of this, women reap few of the financial benefits of their labour. Further, the additional burden of household chores—placed solely on women in most homes—limits the time they can work on whatever small amounts of land they may control. The buy-in of community leaders and involving men is vital to remedying these issues and supporting the increased economic gains of women farmers.
By seizing the opportunities presented to them through P4P, these five women farmers have made great strides, leading to improvements in their own lives and those of their families. Read on to learn more about their successes, as well as the challenges which they still have to face.
“I am now free from being a daily labourer and have started to work on my own farm rather than working for others.