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
Efforts to enhance smallholder farmers’ involvement in agricultural markets under the World Food Programme (WFP) Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme have led to a variety of nutrition-sensitive activities. In many rural communities where P4P and partners work, these context- and country-specific efforts have begun to increase farming families’ access to nutritious food and their knowledge of good nutrition practices.
When the Ebola outbreak began in mid-2014 in Guinea Conakry, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the landscape for smallholder farmers in the affected region rapidly changed. New challenges, including restricted movement, threatened to disrupt the World Food Programme’s (WFP) efforts to connect smallholder farmers to markets. Despite this, smallholder farmers rose to the occasion and continued producing and selling food to WFP throughout the emergency response.
In many countries where Purchase for Progress (P4P) is implemented, exchange visits are held to promote first-hand learning about effective approaches for supporting smallholder farmers. The exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between government officials, farmers and WFP staff develops crucial capacity and relationships between actors, fostering South-South Cooperation.
Smallholder farmers account for 90 percent of national maize production in Zambia. However, small-scale farmers face a great deal of challenges accessing formal markets. Most are located in remote rural areas with poor infrastructure – especially roads – and little access to important price information. The World Food Programme (WFP) Purchase for Progress (P4P) project supports farmers to overcome these challenges by providing them with access to crucial resources and encouraging them to work together in farmers’ organizations.