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
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.
In Guatemala, WFP is supporting the Government to institutionalize and integrate the P4P approach on a national level. Lessons learned and best practices from the pilot period are being used to increase the capacity of government institutions to carry out pro-smallholder procurement, enhance gender equity and improve quality control and post-harvest handling.
Throughout the P4P pilot, a range of positive changes were observed in the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers. To identify which can be directly attributed to P4P, in-depth impact assessments were carried out in four of the 20 pilot countries. Despite methodological challenges, results point to positive changes achieved through P4P support, while providing insights to improve future efforts.
Improved post-harvest handling techniques and technologies are key to increasing the quantity and quality of crops farmers and their families can sell and eat. In Burkina Faso, P4P and partners, including local entrepreneurs, are working together to support the development, manufacture and sale of equipment that can reduce post-harvest losses. These efforts are improving the tools available to smallholder farmers and supporting the growth of local businesses.