A closer look at the farmers whose lives are being changed by P4P.
The smallholders in Zambia’s Central Province cleaned, aggregated and bagged their soya beans and sold a combined total of 16.75 tons through the Zambian Agricultural Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE) to CHC Commodities in Lusaka, who have since brokered them to a local milling company. Each farmer received 2,700 Zambian Kwacha per kg (about US$ 0.55), whereas local small traders had only offered around ZMK 1,800 (about US$ 0.35) per kg.
In May 2003, APAO was legally registered as a farmers’ organization. It receives support from various organizations such as Red SICTA or the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The organization provides agricultural assistance to any community member requesting help, regardless of membership status.
According to APAO’s President Pablo Ordoñez, there is a community development aspect to the organization. They have relationships with all nearby schools, and members often teach students about the benefits of reforestation and water conservation.
In the village of Dioila, 160 km from Mali’s capital of Bamako, the farmers’ association Union Locale des Producteurs des Cereales (ULPC) was one of the first chosen to participate in P4P in 2009. From the start, the farmers had great expectations of P4P, as they said that a secure market was their biggest priority.
The challenge of providing quality millet and sorghum that would meet WFP’s standards was one they relished. They said that working towards very strict quality targets would prove to be a valuable experience.
“I realised that quality and group marketing helps us to be more successful - because we were offered a better price! In the open market, maize was selling at 450 Ugandan Shillings per kg – but we got 600 USh per kg from the Mukwano Group of Companies because our maize had a higher quality,” says Martin Ogwal, a member of the Eguli United Farmers Group.
43-year old Martin from Amwoma in northern Uganda is married and has 6 children. His main source of providing for his family is farming. He grows mainly maize, beans and sunflowers.
The Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture therefore implemented a programme called “Farming for Peace” in Transmara. “When our farmers left pastoralism and gradually got into farming, they stopped fighting”, says the districts’ Agriculture Officer Ernest Muendo.
The arrival of Purchase for Progress (P4P) in the area at the end of 2009 also helped, as it represented an important market outlet for quality food in the remote area.
“Before, there was no reliable market, so the groups did not last.
Lydia Myantekyiwaah from Ejura in Ghana’s Ashanti region owns a farm of 1.5 hectares. With it, she has to provide for her five children. The 42-year old is a member of the Sekyere Odiasempa Cooperative Farming & Marketing Society, a group of 300 smallholder farmers taking part in the Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative.
Lydia sold her maize to WFP in P4P’s first purchase in Ghana in December 2010 - and got a fair price for the first time in her life.
“When I returned from Tanzania as a refugee in 1996, just past the border we were greeted by WFP staff”, remembers Beatha Muicanziga, standing outside the offices of her cooperative COACMU in Kirehe District, Eastern Rwanda. The border is less than 10 km away from where she is sitting, but in her mind it is even closer. “They were giving out bags of maize, beans and oil to all returnees. I thought that was amazing. They were giving me food although I didn’t have even 5 Francs in my pocket”.
Now, fifteen years later, Mrs.
JUBA-Like most members of the Nzara Agricultural Farmer Association (NAFA), Paul and Angelo’s transformation into successful commercial farmers didn’t happen overnight.As participants in WFP’s P4P, which helps to link farmers with markets, Paul and Angelo had a lot to learn about modern methods of storage and quality control. They had to start using bags and tarpaulins to dry and pack their maize, and learn to keep it safe from rot and rodents. It also took courage.
“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.
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.