A closer look at the farmers whose lives are being changed by P4P.
In the municipality of Jalapa, Nueva Segovia, flat land in this generally mountainous area, and high agricultural potential has led to the extensive use of mechanized farming, particularly since the introduction of tobacco cultivation. Many years of utilizing traditional mechanization has led to soil compaction and erosion, which can deplete the soil of vital nutrients and reduce yields. To promote improvements in agricultural production, P4P and partners are supporting small-scale farmers with a variety of sustainable techniques and technologies.
In 2010, two-thirds of all illiterate adults in the world were women. In 2011, P4P’s global gender strategy projected that literacy training was one of the necessary steps towards empowering women farmers, particularly due to their lower literacy levels than men. This was confirmed by emerging lessons learned, which show that functional literacy is crucial for women to learn other skills, allowing them to manage farmers’ organizations and keep records of financial transactions.
By linking local agricultural production to school meals, Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programmes multiply benefits for rural communities. They can increase enrolment, improve nutrition, boost local economies, improve smallholders’ livelihoods and develop government capacity. Due to varied country contexts, each HGSF programme is unique, but are generally characterized by the incorporation of local food purchases into government-run school feeding programmes.
More than a decade of civil war in Liberia left the agricultural sector in pieces. The limited infrastructure in place prior to the conflict was destroyed, and displaced communities returned to overgrown land. The few remaining farmers’ groups were loosely organized and struggled to produce high-quality rice in large quantities. When the P4P pilot was initiated in 2009, mistrust was pervasive among farmers – of one another, of the Ministry of Agriculture and of WFP.
Agricultural production in Sierra Leone is currently recovering from the decline caused by a decade-long war, with about two-thirds of the population dependent upon subsistence farming for their livelihoods. These smallholder farmers have limited access to the resources necessary to effectively aggregate and market quality crops, including storage facilities and training in business and best agricultural practices.ABCs
The P4P pilot has tested innovative methods of supporting smallholders by responding to context-specific challenges in 20 countries.
The post-conflict environment presents unique challenges for P4P’s work promoting smallholder market access. In DRC, the country’s transportation infrastructure has suffered from destruction and a lack of maintenance due to armed conflict. Lack of road, rail and water transportation in combination with large distances between smallholder farmers and markets often limit smallholders to selling their crops through barter systems close to their farms. In the Kabalo and Bikoro territories, where P4P works, communities have been fractured by years of armed conflict.
In Afghanistan, micronutrient deficiency is widespread, with 55 percent of children stunted due to malnutrition. In order to improve nutrition, P4P facilitates the local production of fortified flour and other nutritious food using staple crops grown by P4P-supported smallholders whenever possible. One vital component of this work is the development of a market for soya and soya-based products in partnership with Nutrition and Education International (NEI), with financial support from the Republic of Korea.
Niébé is a variety of cowpea grown by many smallholder farmers, primarily women, throughout West Africa. The drought-resistant bean thrives even in the dry, arid soils of the Sahel and neighboring countries and improves soil quality by fixing nutrients. The crop is also highly nutritious, acting as a common source of protein. Because niébé is often farmed and controlled by women, it provides them with an entry point to earn income within the agricultural sector, while simultaneously improving nutrition and resilience.
Proper food and nutrition play an essential role in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, allowing patients to stay healthy longer, increasing the effectiveness of the treatment and reducing its side effects. However, due to the effects of the disease, HIV-positive individuals often face increased difficulties providing for themselves and their families. The combination of food insecurity and HIV/AIDS can result in higher levels of poverty, malnutrition and increased health risks. This in turn can act as major barriers to seeking and adhering to treatment.