MAPUTO – Mozambique was today hailed for its pioneering role in supporting the UN World Food Programme’s innovative Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative that helps connect small scale farmers to markets as well as improving the quality and supply of their products.
“Mozambique was the birthplace of our P4P programme and it is leading the way in demonstrating how WFP’s investment and support for farmers can become an engine for sustainable agricultural development,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, who is in Mozambique to visit WFP food assistance programmes and to attend WFP’s global gathering of P4P stakeholders.
Today WFP purchases 80 percent of the food it buys from developing countries, and in the past 3 years WFP has purchased nearly US$1billion of food from African farmers to support its programmes.
P4P is a specially designed programme to include marginalised small farmers in WFPs food supply chain. Since its inception in September 2008, P4P programmes have been launched in 20 countries around the world. Through P4P, WFP has purchased more than 120,000 metric tons of food from small scale farmers across the world at a value of US$40 million – enough to feed more than one and a half million people for 6 months.
“Farmers here in Mozambique have shown how P4P can be a model for pulling vulnerable communities out of food dependency and breaking out of the cycle of poverty,” Sheeran added. “We have built on the early successes of Mozambican farmers to roll out the P4P programmes, providing more than 50,000 farmers across the world with the vital skills they need to boost food security in the regions where they live.”
Farmers participating in the P4P programmes receive training from WFP and its partners in improved agricultural production, post-harvest handling of crops, marketing, agricultural financing, and how to contract with WFP. This year alone, the successful P4P initiative in Mozambique led to the purchase of 5,350 metric tons of maize and pulses from smallholder farmers – enough to feed more than 100,000 people for 3 months.
“The decision to gather here in Mozambique for our annual conference on P4P reflects our admiration for the role the farmers of this country have played in showing how local production can be harnessed as to pull people out of hunger and set them on the road to development,” Sheeran said.
The P4P conference – which opened in Maputo on Monday – brings together key P4P partners, including government representatives, NGOs, and small-scale farmers who are participating in P4P programmes. WFP’s P4P programmes are supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the European Commission, and the governments of Belgium, Canada, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, USA, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.