We are calling on you to take action in the days running up to World Food Day. Each day counting down to October 16, we will issue a daily challenge as part of our A Billion for a Billion campaign and the ONE Campus Challenge.
Today’s Action: leave a comment to this post telling us your thoughts/ideas/feelings about how to empower small-scale farmers.
How can purchasing locally improve people’s lives?
- In the US, increasingly people buy food locally to support their farming community. In the developing world, buying from local farmers can provide a lifeline and source of hope to farmers living in grinding poverty.
- In Africa 8 out of 10 farmers in Africa are female, and so buying locally often acts as a form female empowerment too.
Anne Rono lives in southwest Kenya. This year, her seven children helped her harvest their produce. The youngest is three years old, and helps by picking up maize dropped on the ground by the older siblings.
Normally, her one-acre farm produces about 14 bags of maize. But this year’s crop filled just four bags. Even so, Anne needs to sell some of her grain to pay for school fees and essentials that she can’t grow on the farm.
Normally, Anne is at the mercy of Kenyan traders, who take advantage of small scale farmers by offering them below-market price for their maize.
But this year, under a World Food Program initiative called Purchase for Progress or P4P, Anne has another option.
By giving small scale farmers access to fairer prices and a reliable buyer, the program puts more cash into the hands of small scale farmers and improves lives.
Anne is excited that her seven children will benefit from the program.
“P4P can change my life, because by selling maize, I will get money, so my kids can get a better education, they can change their lives, they can wear good shoes, clothes,” she says. “And then, even me, I can get money so I can get fertilizer for the farm. So I know that P4P can help us.”
Although Anne’s farm is small, buying better seeds and more fertilizer will enable her to produce more. With programs like P4P, Ann and other small farmers throughout the developing world can make real improvements in their lives.
The World Food Day Action Countdown is the result of a joined initiative between the Billion for a Billioncampaign (calling for the online billion ot help the hungry billion) and the ONE Campus Challenge (that invites university students to take part in the fight against hunger for credits).