P4P Stories from the field

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

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.

DRC: Increase in income enables business diversification

Florent Banza Ilunga has become the pharmacist of Kitule, a small town in northern Katanga. He has been running this tin shack business since September 2011, selling basic medication to the 4000 inhabitants of Kitule.

For years, Florent grew cassava a small piece of land of around 0.2 hectares, barely managing to feed his wife and eight children. His attempts to diversify into peanuts weren’t very successful and he couldn’t make ends meet. He did not have the experience, the training or the wherewithal to make it work.

Honduras: Government, EU and WFP working hand in hand to support smallholder farmers

Upgrading CEDA - a Training Centre for Agricultural Development

The President of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo Sosa thanked the European Union and WFP for the investment in this important training centre: “P4P is a programme that teaches how to produce efficiently for greater yields. It also teaches efficient financial management which means lower costs for the farmers and helps farmers to store their own grain, which puts them on a more equal footing with bigger producers.

Mozambique: UN agencies combine efforts to help farmers

This joint programme was coordinated by WFP and planned and executed at country level together with FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development). Over 11,000 farming families have been reached until the joint programme ended in December 2011. The UN agencies in Mozambique are currently looking into developing a new Joint Programme along the same lines.

For farmers like Etalvinha, the programme had many benefits. She lives in the north of Mozambique’s Zambezia Province with her three children.