A closer look at the farmers whose lives are being changed by P4P.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A representative of smallholder farmers in the Kapchorwa area in eastern Uganda today welcomed the establishment of a US$1.4 million WFP-sponsored grain warehouse in their region. David Kisa, Chief Executive Officer of the Kapchorwa Commercial Farmers’ Association (KACOFA), said the warehouse project meant “one major step in improving the handling of grain in the Sebei region”.
During a P4P workshop for small and medium traders in 2011, Boniface Chilomo from Dindi Chemicals and General Supplies recounted the challenges he faced when he recently held two contracts to deliver 95 tons of pigeon peas to WFP. Most problematic for him was “miscommunication regarding whether or not WFP could pay me on partial delivery.”
Boniface was under the impression that this was not possible, and therefore faced cash flow problems.
ROME-- The cooperative “Asociación de Productores Agrícolas de la Laguna El Hoyo” (APALH) is based in Monjas in Eastern Guatemala, a region known as the dry corridor. To improve agricultural productivity in the area, the Government had launched an irrigation system in 1961, enabling the local farmers to have three harvests instead of only one per year, and also allowing the cultivation of higher value crops such as broccoli and other vegetables.
Golden Lwiindi is a man with a plan. Within the next month he will finish building an office on his farm; within two months he will have planted his crops and increased his acreage of cow peas; within six months he will have opened a grocery shop next to his house; within one year he will have begun a poultry business; and within 10 years, he plans to be a commercial farmer.
Ultimately, Golden wants to be self-reliant. In the meantime, however, WFP is supporting him and other small-scale farmers by lending them either a tractor or a sheller, as well as providing them with a market.