During International Women's Day, the President of Honduras Porfirio Lobo Sosa, the First Lady Rosa Elena de Lobo, the head of UN Women Rosibel Gomez, WFP Representative Miguel Barreto, and the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Jacobo Regalado met at the Presidency to hand over financial certificates worth more than 1 million Lempiras (nearly US$50,000) to eight women producer associations.
With the purpose of ensuring gender equality and greater opportunities in the agricultural sector the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and UN Women promote the active participation of women in the productive agro-business chain through actions that empower small farmers organizations who participate in the Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme of WFP in Honduras.
The programme implements a gender strategy that gives women a greater access to and control of property and resources, reaching empowerment and strengthening their work by developing productive activities that support their personal development as well as economic benefit.
On this day financial certificates were given for the development of various productive activities such as: purchasing heavy machinery, sealing and packing beans, local construction, purchasing storage silos, improving irrigation systems, etc. for eight organizations composed of female agricultural producers in the departments of Yoro, Francisco Morazan, El Paraiso and Ocotepeque that are part of the P4P project. Through the financial support these women will have a greater opportunity to diversify their production and generate income for their families.
The World Food Programme with government support has led the "Purchase for Progress" project which currently benefits 11,500 small producers in Honduras, of which 21% are women. The programme aims to connect farmers to fair and sustainable markets through: the provision of technical assistance and training of best practices, promotion of best management practices to reduce post-harvest losses and improve the quality of products, assist organizations to increase sales and sell their crops for fair prices, and strengthen and consolidate identified small farmers organizations.
As part of the strategy for diversification and marketing of grains, WFP Honduras over the years 2010 - 2012 has purchased 24,100 Metric Tons (530,200 bushels) of maize and beans directly from small farmers in Honduras. These products are then distributed to WFP programmes in Honduras, with own funds and funding from the government, including the National School Meals Programme, Support for Vulnerable Groups Programme, Conditional Food Transfer/Agricultural Development Programme, and WFP’s Emergency Response and Rehabilitation to Natural Disasters Programme.
P4P is under implementation in seven departments (Olancho, El Paraiso, Yoro, Comayagua, Lempira, Intibuca and Ocotepeque). Overall investment in equipment, supplies, dryers, infrastructure and training on P4P project in recent years amounts to more than 198 million Lempiras (more than US$9 million) thanks to the support of the European Union, WFP and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.