1. UN Agencies, NGOs and private sector work together to support smallholders
[photo|646941]In Zambia, P4P brings together numerous partners to help farmers access a broad range of services, such as training, equipment and inputs. Partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are particularly important, with FAO providing support to scale up conservation agriculture, and an agreement with IFAD for road rehabilitation. A local company called NWK services manages a revolving fund enabling farmers to access tractors on loan.
Gender sensitization efforts are carried out through the Kawambwa District Farmers’ Organizations and the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA). Partnership with the Adventist Development and Relieve Agency (ADRA) strengthens linkages between smallholder farmers and the private sector, as well as the provision of warehouses and training in post-harvest handling and soya production.
2. Heifer International helps women farmers access draft power
In Zambia, P4P partners with Heifer International to provide women farmers with cattle for draft power. Access to animal traction, coupled with the opportunity to market their crops to WFP, can reduce women’s heavy workload, and increase their production and sales of quality crops. Cattle also provide a sustainable source of organic fertilizer and can improve household nutrition through the consumption of milk. Under Heifer’s “pass on the gift” principle, participants give their cattle’s first female offspring to another family in their community, fostering ownership and ensuring the project’s sustainability.
3. Smallholders are producing micronutrient-rich crops
P4P partner HarvestPlus works to reduce micronutrient deficiencies worldwide by developing and disseminating high yielding staple crops bred conventionally to be rich in vitamins and minerals. Smallholder farmers’ organizations in Zambia are growing Vitamin A Maize both for household consumption and sale. HarvestPlus redistributes a part of these crops as seed. A government-led awareness-raising campaign has been fundamental to introducing the orange maize – which has a different physical appearance than the white maize traditionally produced and eaten in Zambia – into the diets of households and school meals.
4. Equipment and infrastructure are making farming more lucrative
Two agribusiness centres have been built in Kasamanda and Kawambwa. The centres are hubs for communities to access agricultural information, storage space, processing equipment and agricultural inputs, such as seeds and fertilizers. Though progress has been made, many smallholders still lack access to adequate storage facilities, and poor road quality makes it difficult for the private sector to access rural areas where smallholder farmers are located.
5. Nutritious foods are bought from local farmers for school meals
By linking local agricultural production to school meals, Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programmes can multiply benefits for rural communities, increasing attendance, improving nutrition and providing smallholders with markets. In Zambia, biofortified maize, protein-rich pulses and dairy products purchased from P4P-supported smallholder farmers are used for nutritious school meals. The market for pulses has been particularly beneficial for women farmers, with 30–50 percent of pulses required for HGSF in Zambia being procured from P4P-supported women farmers’ organizations.
Ireen Musonda, Secretary, Chimbii Farmers' Cooperative, Zambia tells about her experience as a farmer working with P4P: