A closer look at the farmers whose lives are being changed by P4P.
San Marcos Las Pozas was founded in 2002, but remained inactive for a long time: “Before working with P4P, we had nothing. You could say that we were dead. Then they helped us to become more professional: we got our accounting and reporting systems into place, and started to get several trainings from P4P to build our capacity.”
As part of the initiative, a revolving fund of US$ 10,000 was established for the cooperative. P4P provided agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilizers which were made available to farmers on credit.
In the beginning, Rose’s small-scale business mainly bought sorghum from farmers and then sold it to a brewery. Over time, she found more buyers and diversified the commodities that Smart Logistics deals with. Currently, the company trades in maize, cowpeas, soya beans, chili and passion fruits.
In addition to 11 permanent employees, 17 mobilizers work for the company in various locations in Kenya’s Eastern Province. The mobilizers are paid on commission basis based on the volume of commodities they buy from smallholders.
In 2007, farmers in Kirehe district in Eastern Rwanda started organising themselves in a cooperative to gain access to better markets. The name of the cooperative, Indakemwa, means „integrity‟ in Kinyarwanda.
Here you can read the story of Amina Munyana, member of the Indakemwa cooperative.
But when P4P was initiated in Rwanda, Indakemwa did not qualify as a participant, as they lacked any storage facility to aggregate commodities and had only little quantities to sell.
In September in Ghana's Ashanti region, WFP organised a series of full-day training sessions for all members of 13 farmers’ organisations participating in P4P. Held in Ejura, the capital of the Ejura-Sekyedumase district, the training was an opportunity for the farmers to refresh what they had learned a year ago in a comprehensive training on agricultural production by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) through funding provided by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
The Asociación de Productores Agrícolas de la Laguna El Hoyo (APALH) is based in Monjas in Eastern Guatemala, a region known as the dry corridor. APALH was formed about 20 years ago and now has 188 members, 50 of whom are women. Two years ago, APALH took over an irrigation system that had been built in the 1960s and used to be managed by another group of farmers in the region. Since taking it over, APALH has repaired the tunnels and channels of the system, much to the benefit of its members like Gilda Zepada.
In the South-Eastern tip of Rwanda, Amina Munyana lives with her family in the village Samuko. She and her husband Niyonsenga Ramadhan have three boys and three girls of their own, and have also adopted another three orphaned boys. To feed the family, they grow rice, maize and beans on two hectares of land and keep a cow. Thanks to hard work and support from their farmers’ organisation “Indakemwa”, they have been able to triple their production on these fields over the past four years – and started to look for a market to sell to.
Since her husband died four years ago, the 50-year old cultivates 4 hectares of land belonging to her husband’s family, growing sorghum, cowpeas, sesame and millet. She manages to operate three hectares on her own, while the remaining hectar is farmed collectively with 10 members of her female farmers’ organisation “Claire’s Friendship”. Marie Therese is also the president of the organisation.
Maize is grown by 80 percent of smallholders and covers 35 percent of cultivated land in Mozambique. However, despite the potential that exists, smallholders’ income remains low and their exposure to food insecurity high. In 2010, P4P introduced into the Zambezia province in central Mozambique more than 100 household silos called “Gorongosa” silos, made from locally available materials. WFP in conjunction with other UN agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), also supported Zambezia farmers with another type of silo - the metallic silo.
The farmers’ organization Cooperativa Integral Agrícola La Montaña was formed about 15 years ago in the village of La Montaña in southern Guatemala. The organization has 21 members, seven of whom are women. While WFP offers a market for smallholders’ produce, P4P partner organizations give the farmers technical assistance in producing maize and beans. Part of this assistance is a demonstration plot of one manzana (about 0.7 hectare), where farmers can learn about new crops and new agricultural techniques.
When Theodora was asked by the facilitator from the Rural Urban Development Initiative (RUDI), one of P4P’s partners in Tanzania, to make a presentation in front of her fellow farmers, it took all her courage to stand up and talk. As one of 50 farmers from the Kituntu Savings and Credits Cooperative Organisation (SACCO) selected to attend the P4P/RUDI training, she knew that she would face a big and attentive audience.
But she did it, and it changed her life. She gained a lot of confidence and is no longer afraid to participate in meetings and express her opinion.