Connecting farmers to markets
The Purchase for Progress (P4P) pilot has allowed WFP to try out new ways of leveraging its purchasing power to support agricultural and market development in developing countries. Over the past five years, the pilot has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of farmers, especially women, in 20 developing countries, supporting them to grow more, sell more, and earn more and become more competitive players in their local markets.
P4P links WFP’s demand for staple food commodities (cereals, pulses and blended foods) with the technical expertise of a wide range of partners to support smallholder farmers boost their agricultural production and sell their surplus at a fair price. By providing a market to smallholder farmers and supporting them to improve crop quality and increase their sales to WFP as well as other buyers, the initiative has transformed WFP’s local procurement into a vital tool to address hunger.
Though the five-year P4P pilot period concluded in December 2013, efforts to support smallholders continue as WFP mainstreams key innovations and best practices. WFP is committed to continue its support to smallholder farmers and is mainstreaming key innovations and best practices. These efforts support the Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge and WFP’s global effort to help smallholders to access markets, addressing food insecurity and poverty. Learn more
In Ghana, smallholder farmers are particularly limited by low productivity and significant post-harvest losses. From 2011 to 2013, P4P supported smallholders to increase their maize yields by 67 percent. Despite the progress, many challenges remain, including smallholders’ limited access to markets beyond WFP. To learn more about P4P in Ghana, read the country factsheet here.
In order for P4P to generate increased production and sales among smallholders, significant investments in capacity building are necessary. Emerging quantitative results, presented at the P4P Annual Consultation in January 2014, show how smallholders have benefitted from capacity building by P4P and its partners, leading to improved overall livelihoods.
Throughout the pilot phase, P4P has focused on assisting women farmers to benefit economically from their work, gaining confidence and voice in their communities and homes. Mazouma Sanou, a farmer from Burkina Faso, has first-hand experience of these benefits as well as the challenges still facing women farmers.
The fifth P4P Annual Consultation was held in Rome from 28 to 31 January 2014. It was attended by nearly 200 P4P stakeholders from around the globe, who discussed the pilot’s achievements, challenges, and objectives for the future. All participants attended the discussions on 29 and 30 January, while 28 and 31 January were internal sessions.