P4P Stories from the field

A closer look at the farmers whose lives are being changed by P4P.


P4P ripple effect: Farmers in Malawi share their success

The Mwandama farmer’s organization is located in the Zomba district in southern Malawi. It was formed in 2005 with initial support from the Millennium Village Project. Mwandama first sold to WFP in early 2010, and is now among the most active and successful farmers’ organisations on the P4P roster. The organization has been awarded a total of 11 contracts, amounting to nearly 750 mt of commodities, valued at US$176,000.

P4P links Tanzanian smallholders to national food reserve

The agreement between WFP and NFRA, signed in August 2012, formalized the understanding that WFP will purchase food from the NFRA, who in turn will buy from smallholder farmers’ organizations, including those linked to the Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative.

Supporting smallholder farmers to improve access to markets

In Tanzania, some 85 percent of the country’s maize is produced by smallholder farmers. Low productivity, long distance from markets, a lack of credit, and inadequate storage limit smallholder farmers’ capacity to sell their produce.

Smallholder farmers ready to sell beans to supermarkets

For almost five years, P4P and its partners have developed the capacities of farmers’ organizations across El Salvador by helping participating smallholders understand staple grain markets, the importance of quality and commercialization, and how to manage a small business.

Thanks to funding from Howard G. Buffett Foundation – the main donor to P4P in El Salvador - more than 15,000 smallholder farmers have been trained in agricultural techniques, post-harvest management and grain processing since 2009.

P4P Mozambique: Supporting women to produce more

Women’s low farming productivity in Mozambique is mainly due to their limited access to land and technical services in comparison to men. Unequal roles and unilateral decision making within households give women further disadvantages and less control of their livelihoods. As in other parts of Africa, women generally work for approximately 16 hours a day and spend a great portion of that on unpaid activities. 

 “It is very difficult to be a woman farmer. We go to the farm carrying the hoe, the tools and the children while our husbands don’t carry anything.

P4P Mali: Promoting a nutritious diet through women empowerment

On a sandy plain below Mali’s majestic Bandiagara cliffs, Awa Tessougué describes how she and a group of women farmers are reshaping agriculture in their village, putting money in their pockets and improving their children’s nutrition in the process.

“In the beginning, my husband was sceptical about the project. Now, not only has he given me a larger plot of land so that I can grow more niébé (cowpea), but he also allows me to sell the family’s millet surplus to WFP,” she said.

Reducing malnutrition by working with local millers

WFP’s involvement with the Afghan milling sector dates back to 2005 when WFP first purchased flour from two millers as part of the food assistance provided to tuberculosis patients. Since then, the collaboration has expanded significantly and today, through P4P, it includes extensive support in advocacy to the local milling industry.

P4P supporting women in their struggle for access to land

In the Kalenjin community in Rift Valley, women are usually entrusted with childcare and household chores, but this trust is rarely extended to other activities. Women have few assets of their own as they lack right of ownership. It is the men that manage household assets and all the finances; bank accounts and title deeds are in their names. Land rights are attributed to men.

Until recently, Elijah Lelei was no exception to this traditional allotment as he controlled farming activities on the land.

From Subsistence Farmer To Business Woman

Biba Sanou is a woman in her fifties with many responsibilities. Since her husband emigrated a decade ago, she has been the head of her household, caring for five children and making sure there is enough money to provide for food, housing and school fees. She is also the leader of Kouroudia women’s group, a P4P supported farmers’ organisation in Western Burkina Faso.

Access to credit key reason for success

For Biba and her farmers’ organisation, the P4P experience started in 2010.

P4P Mali: Benefits extend to local tax system

Out of the 703 municipalities in Mali, Cinzana is the biggest one with its 72 villages. Since the start of a decentralization process in Mali in 1993, the state has transferred many responsibilities to the municipalities, including the accountability and ownership of development. In Cinzana municipality, payment of local development tax (less than US$2 per person aged from 14 to 60 years) was previously a major challenge for smallholder farmers.

P4P Zambia: Tractors unleash farmers' potential

Limited access to mechanized equipment, such as tillage equipment and tractors, is one of the main reasons for the poor crop yields of Zambian smallholder farmers. Furthermore, the lack of mechanised agriculture only allows farmers to prepare limited areas of land before it is time to plant. Delayed planting is common which causes further reduction in the yields. Overall, poor agricultural productivity and quality limits the smallholder farmers’ participation in WFP’s local purchase for the home-grown school meal programme in Zambia.