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
This March, a seminar co-hosted by WFP and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) brought together senior African policy makers to discuss the importance of strengthening smallholder agriculture. Following two days of discussions, a declaration was adopted, reaffirming the commitment of policy makers to support pro-smallholder demand-led market development.
The sixth P4P Annual Consultation was held in Rome from 24 to 26 February 2015. The meeting brought together 170 stakeholders from around the world to discuss lessons and opportunities that could be built upon in the post-pilot phase, identify main challenges and propose new ways to improve the effectiveness of future P4P-like efforts.
In Sierra Leone, WFP is supporting smallholder farmers, paving the way for recovery after more than a decade of conflict. To boost local economies and improve food security, vulnerable farming families undertake swampland reclamation to build community agricultural assets. Smallholders with a higher capacity are supported by P4P to supply food for the programme.
The P4P approach aims to promote gender equity and the economic empowerment of women. However, in Ethiopia, engaging women farmers in P4P proved particularly challenging due to cultural and traditional practices which limit their participation in agriculture. In response, a country-specific gender initiative was launched. Here is a story from Anja Chefa about some of the promising results: