US Senator and WFP Goodwill Ambassador, George McGovern, receives a gift during his recent visit to Kenya. Copyright: WFP/Kenya
Anne Rono is a small farmer, but after contracting HIV, lost the strength to farm her land. With the help of antiretroviral drugs and nutritious food, she’s not only back on her feet but selling her crops to WFP through an innovative new programme that links small farmers to markets.
NAIROBI – Getting back to work wasn’t easy for Anne, 42, a small farmer in AIDS-ravaged western Kenya. The illness had taken its toll on her, and only with the help of nutritional support from WFP was she able to endure the regimen of anti-retroviral drugs keeping the virus at bay.
“I was too weak to farm and couldn’t do much work,” she said. “So I had to stop for a while. Thankfully, I was given food to eat together with the medicine, which helped me recover my strength.”
Purchase for Progress
P4P leverages WFP's own buying power to help poor farmers become competetive players on local markets. Find out more
Proper nutrition is essential for people undergoing drug-therapy for HIV, as it improves the medicine’s uptake in the system, reduces side-effects and bolsters their willpower to keep taking the pills.
Back to work
Though the food and drugs helped to restore Anne’s health, getting back to work on her farm still presented a daunting challenge. Fortunately, she didn’t have to go it alone.
Anne’s farmers organisation, the Kaptebee Sachangwan cooperative, enrolled with the Purchase for Progress initiative, a pilot project that trained her how to raise her yields and improve the quality of her crops.
Just as importantly, she learned about storage methods that allow her to delay selling her crops until after the harvest season, when prices are higher.
Anne’s farmers' cooperative was able to secure an important contract with WFP after proving that they could meet quality standards.
WFP purchased some 61 metric tons of corn from the farmers this year, ten bags of which came from Anne’s family plot. The sale made her US $292, which she used to pay her daughters school fees, buy seeds and fertilizer and less an extra 1.5 acres of land.
Anne is confident her yields this year will be significantly higher than last year, and that she will be able to feed her family in the future on her own.