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The UN World Food Programme's (WFP) strong food-purchasing power and logistics capacity has been attempting to enhance local agricultural production in order to benefit smallholder farmers in Sudan

Sudan farmer  AfricaP4P will provide training for farmers to reduce harvest losses by improving storage and management practices. (Image source: Africa Renewal)

A Purchase for Progress (P4P) pilot was carried out in South Sudan in January 2010 to improve the skills of smallholder farmers, organised as groups, to carry out farming as a business venture.

At a recent Nzara Agricultural Farmers Association (NAFA) collection day several smallholder farmers in the region arrived on motorbikes loaded with two, three or even four bags of maize, which would then be sold to to WFP P4P, stated Angelo Edward Zingbondo, NAFA chairperson.

"The maize collected will be inspected and sold to WFP P4P, and when we get the money we pay the farmers," said Zingbondo.

P4P is now building equipped warehouses to facilitate grain aggregation and will provide farmers with training to reduce harvest losses by improving management methods.

“Before P4P, farmers had no connection with the market - we didn’t have a store, there was no warehouse, people were just selling a few gallons of maize – but now with P4P there is a market, and they can sell in bigger quantities and make money to send their kids to school,” Zingbondo explains.

“We have been taught how to research market prices, to advertise our business using the radio and the phone to obtain the best deals to sell our produce,” he adds.