P4P Stories from the field

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


Responding to Farmers’ Needs with Locally-Developed Technology

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.

5 Facts About Connecting Smallholders to Markets in Rwanda

The Government is expanding pro-smallholder support under “Common P4P”

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.

P4P Ghana: Bringing Smallholders’ Produce to Students’ Plates

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: Meeting the needs of smallholder farmers by integrating programmes

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.

P4P opens doors for rural women in Ethiopia

"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.

Draft cattle lighten women’s workloads and increase crop production in Zambia

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.

Farmers’ organizations driving change for rural women in Burkina Faso

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.

Five rural women share their stories

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.

Smallholders benefit from conservation farming in Nicaragua

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.

Empowering women farmers through literacy training

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.