Win-win situation for farmers, aid group

Published on 14 April 2009

"Now that I have a secure buyer, I will grow a lot more beans," says one farmer who is benefiting from the World Food Programme's innovative Purchase for Progress (P4P) program. Alfredo Muarapaz did not expect the windfall he received a few months ago. But he made good use of it. "I used the money to buy school things for my children, dishes and clothes for my family and even some tools to improve my house," said Muarapaz, a poor, semi-subsistence farmer, who pocketed around $50 (all figures U.S.) from the sale of his small chickpea surplus to the World Food Programme (WFP). It may not sound like much, but Muarapaz lives in Mozambique – a country where over a third of the population survives on less than one dollar per day. And it is certainly enough of an incentive for him to grow a larger surplus next year. "I will plant two hectares and hope to grow 800 kilograms of beans," said Muarapaz, who sold just 150 kilograms this year. "I have not grown many beans until now because I didn't have a buyer, but now that there is a secure buyer, I will produce a lot more." This optimistic production plan is exactly the response that WFP is hoping to foster among smallholder farmers with Purchase for Progress. By providing a reliable market for smallholder farmers, local cooperatives and small traders, WFP is hoping to put more money into the pockets of poorer farmers and to provide them with a powerful incentive to invest and increase production. The idea is that with more produce to sell and more experience as market players, the farmers will connect to other clients besides WFP.

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