A closer look at the farmers whose lives are being changed by P4P.
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.
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.
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.
The Gbonkuma Rural Women Association (GRWA) has 250 members and is headed by female Executive Director Fatu Namieh Nyen, respectfully known as Ma Fatu. Ma Fatu and GRWA came into the public limelight in Liberia when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited the group in 2011. During this visit, the President was inspired by the dynamism and commitment of GRWA and the important role that they were playing in improving the lives of women within their community.
“My four children are now healthy and fit, and we’ve been able to pay the school fees for all of them”, says Mama Mbango Amba, her chubby last-born on her back. Mama Mbango proudly shows the ground maize she will cook for the family dinner. She produced this maize and has been able to mill it thanks to the community mill bought through P4P.
P4P is implemented by both WFP and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation in two regions in DRC, Katanga and Equateur. In Equateur, P4P started just a year ago thanks to a contribution from France.
As the sun rises in Nzara, a small town located in the Western Equatoria state of South Sudan, Augustino rides with a 50kg bag of maize strapped to his bicycle. He is heading to the warehouse where the Nzara Agricultural Farmers Association (NAFA) is collecting grain from local farmers for sale.
At the warehouse, built with the support of P4P, NAFA agents unload the bag, clean and sort the maize to ensure it is of good quality, transfer the contents into a bag marked with the WFP logo, weigh it and store.
Aiah Fundowa has lived in Njagwema, the main village of the Fiama chiefdom in Sierra Leone’s eastern district Kono, all his life. He is the head of the “Quendordonya Farmers’ Association” and also acts as a marketing agent for its umbrella body “Bassankoe Agricultural Company Ltd”.
The Bassankoe organisation was formed in 2009 to market agricultural commodities, bringing together four lower-level groups in thearea.
These locally-grown meals are the result of a partnership between WFP’s School Meals programme and its Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative. School Meals promote student enrollment and attendance in chronically food insecure areas of Ethiopia, with a focus on promoting girls’ education. P4P uses WFP’s purchasing power and its expertise in logistics and food quality to offer smallholder farmers opportunities to access agricultural markets, to become competitive players in those markets and thus to improve their lives.
Charles Komakech plunges his hoe into the rust red soil, shooing away a wayward chicken. Corn pushes up, shoulder high, stretching toward the sky. Within hours, the rains will come thundering down, turning the tiny farming roads in this slice of northern Uganda into muddy rivers.
It’s been a good year for Komakech, and not just because of the rains. The 38-year-old farmer counts among more than 7,000 smallholders in the Acholi sub-region to join WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme.