P4P Stories from the field

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

Tanzania: New opportunities for female farmers

“P4P came out of nowhere. I went to a P4P training which really helped me and I was very excited about joining the initiative,” says Felista. Last season, P4P contracted 50 tons of maize from her local Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO).

In Tanzania, P4P is working with SACCOs to connect smallholder farmers to markets. SACCOs are microfinance organizations set up to provide its members with access to credit, and they often are the only functional organization at the village level.

Guatemala: Women to the forefront in agriculture

Amanda Lopez is a 56 year-old woman who lives and works on the Pacific coastal plain in Guatemala. She is a farmer and founder of the Civil Association for the Integral Development of Active Rural Women (Asociación Civil de Desarrollo Integral de Mujeres Activas Rurales - ACDIMAR). This association is formed exclusively by women, which is neither usual nor easy in a society in which women’s lives are bound by traditional roles.

“It is the first all-women organization with which we work.

DRC: Encouraging signs despite multiple challenges

WFP’s pilot programme Purchase for Progress (P4P) and its sister agency the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) are working hand in hand in DRC to help rebuild agricultural commodity markets, which have been affected by years of disruption and armed conflict. Crucial to revitalising markets and connecting farmers with traders is the expansion and rehabilitation of the transportation infrastructure.

Access to finance for farmers in Nicaragua

Natalia Castro Landero lives in the community of San Bartolo in northern Nicaragua. For several years, she was part of a WFP food-for-work program that supplies smallholder farmers like her with food so that they could spend time to improve their fields with soil conservation techniques. Receiving only a small loan of US$25 to purchase inputs, Natalia used to grow one hectare of maize and harvested each year around 1.3 metric tons.

With her harvest, she had to repay the loan and of course also feed her family.

Trade fair enhances market opportunities for smallholder farmers

The fair brought together major local grain traders, representatives of farmers’ organisations and agricultural markets service providers for the first time. Under P4P, WFP supports the efforts of the Government to boost agricultural production and to improve the income of smallholder farmers by developing the market in Rwanda.

One immediate benefit of the fair was that several traders signed agreements with smallholder farmers’ organisations to buy about 5,000 tons of food. The traders also promised to buy over 40,000 tons of food over the next six months.

Southern Sudan on the rise

Almost immediately after joining WFP’s procurement in Khartoum, Marc Sauveur, a Belgian national, took the lead in the implementation of the innovative Purchase for Progress (P4P) pilot in Sudan. After initially working from Khartoum, with frequent trips to Southern Sudan, he finally moved to Juba in August 2010.

At the beginning, the challenges seemed insurmountable. A pilot programme is, by its nature, full of variables. But add to that the challenges of the environment in Sudan.

Burkina Faso: P4P helps farmers to provide for their families

KARI—Mr. Ouagadougou Fofana, 46, sits in a courtyard under a tree smiling as several of his thirteen children hide behind their mothers. Mr. Fofana, a farmer in Kari, in the province of Mouhoun, 232 km west of the capital Ouagadougou, is now able to provide for his large family thanks to WFP’s collaboration with farmers in the area.

Mr. Fofana is a member of the Union of Groups for the Commercialisation of Agricultural Products for the Boucle du Mouhoun region (UGCPA-BM) – an umbrella for more than 85 farmers’ groups and 2,000 members.

Honduras: "Now I enjoy farming again!"

For Desiderina, becoming a farmer was never really a personal choice, but something she fell into because of a lack of other opportunities: “I never really had a chance to do anything else,” said Desiderina, “farming was something I was born into.”

Desiderina has been a member of the farmers’ organization “Associación Popular de Desarrollo Integral” for over 20 years. For six years, she served as a member of its board of directors, working to promote the organization and to encourage other farmers to join.

Zambia: Shellers enable female farmers to reduce workload

Shelling maize in Zambia traditionally relies on the manual labour of women and children. Often, these children do not attend school during the shelling season as they are expected to work. The manual method of placing maize cobs on homemade slats and beating them with wooden sticks is not only tedious and physically demanding, but it also has a very low productivity rate of 10-25kg per hour. During this time, the children either miss school, or are too exhausted from the laborious work to study and concentrate.

DRC: P4P connects farmers to markets

"That's why we appreciate P4P, because it will help us transport and sell our crops," said the 45-year-old farmer and father of seven. In Mwenge village, 35 kilometres from the marketing town of Kabalo, farmers like Lukodi now store their crops in WFP warehouses. This year, their maize will reach merchants by truck rather than bicycle.

Launched in 2009 with Belgian funding in the forests and scrublands of Kabalo territory in DRC's southern Katanga province, P4P aims to relaunch agriculture and trade in a place once considered the region's breadbasket.