P4P Stories from the field

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

Tanzania: Government and WFP increase market opportunities for smallholders

Smallholders will be able to sell their maize to NFRA, while ten percent of NFRA’s purchases will be reserved for smallholders participating in WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) pilot in the country.
The new agreement could quadruple the size of current P4P purchases in Tanzania, taking purchases from a 2011 high of 4,300 tons to 20,000 tons annually. Under the previous arrangement, WFP was already able to buy 90,000 tons of maize from NFRA. WFP uses the food bought from NFRA for its food assistance programmes in the region, such as in Kenya, Somalia or South Sudan.

Honduras – First professionals graduate from new training centre

“To take part in this agribusiness training has been highly satisfying and relevant, because my duties are closely related with this area and now I can put all the knowledge I have gained into practice with the small farmers that I am providing technical support” concluded  Ana Maritza Madrid, one of the first 54 graduates.

Ghana – The importance of weighing scales

Fati Mahama is a smallholder from the district of Ejura Sekyedumasi in Ghana’s Ashanti Region. She grows maize and cowpea on a small farm which is barely 2 hectares. In March this year, she was in for a surprise when she sold maize to the World Food Programme (WFP) through its Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative.  

“I can’t believe that I sold only six heaped maxi bags (usually a 100kg bag) and made so much money,” she said after she realized that she had just increased her income by 50 percent.

Malawi – Training farmers in business analysis and planning


In October 2011 a lessons learned workshop with partners had shown that the P4P strategy, based on procurement-focused capacity development, had some limitations: it did not develop FOs performance, nor build their capacity to enter regular procurement modalities. The reason behind this was that FOs were and are at differing development stages, or lack appropriate supply- side support, and thus simply providing an opportunity to market their goods did not translate into good performance on contracts.

Sierra Leone – Introducing “gari” into the food basket

Under the Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme, WFP in Sierra Leone issued a contract for five tons of gari to a small trader in early 2011 - this marked the first time that WFP had tried to purchase gari locally and it was successful. After this initial purchase, WFP started to negotiate further contracts with farmers’ organizations supported by supply-side partners. Subsequently, three more contracts for 5 tons each were signed in mid-2011; a second-time contract with the trader and two with farmers’ organizations (FOs).

Tanzania - Farmer's point of view on progress of P4P

Until 3 years ago, the farmers of Slahamo, a small village in northern Tanzania, could only rely on their own resources for their agricultural activities. Living some 150 kilometers west of Arusha, they faced huge difficulties in accessing inputs and financial services, and reaching profitable markets for their produce. Even the district council’s warehouse that had been built in the 1970’s was largely abandoned.

Kenya: Farmers’ experience since start of P4P

The road from Eldoret to Kitale is lined with a succession of farms and little villages. In this region in Western Kenya, not too far from the Ugandan border, farmers are busy tending their fields. While some of the farms are big and mechanized, most plots are small and the work is done by hand by the farmers and their families.

In Wamuini Soko Huru, a village at the end of a dirt road outside Kitale, a group of farmers is sitting inside a one-room house. They are all members of the same association and they have sold some of their maize to the WFP for the first time as part of P4P.

Ethiopia: Women gain power through cooperative

Mashuu Baaburi is a pioneer. Upon completion of secondary school in Chefo Umbera, a small village in southern Ethiopia, she noticed her peers marrying at an early age and becoming second, third, and fourth wives. To avoid the same destiny, Mashuu formed a women’s group with her two sisters and a sister-in-law hoping to empower women through family planning education and HIV/AIDS awareness.  In 2000, there were four members - today there are 165.

El Salvador: The benefits of collective action

Ten years ago, the lack of credit, poor agricultural techniques, and prohibitively expensive inputs forced Jose Manuel and his family to stop farming. Instead, he was hired by private haciendas, but his salary could not cover his family’s needs, especially for food. “I barely made enough money to eat daily, and my wife had to sell matches and candles in the village. We had to ask local authorities to give us books for our children to go to school. Those were really tough years,” he recalls.

Afghanistan - High Energy Biscuits Baked in Kabul

On a rainy afternoon in Kabul, the air outside a building painted a cheerful shade of turquoise is fragrant with the scent of freshly-baked biscuits. The Itaffaq factory is the newest supplier for WFP’s High Energy Biscuits (HEB), a biscuit fortified with vitamins and minerals which WFP distributes to schoolchildren in Afghanistan. Most of the 15,000 metric tons of biscuits that WFP will give to just under one million kids in Afghanistan this year will be imported from India.