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
Home Grown School Feeding programmes implemented jointly by WFP and host governments are increasingly providing assured markets for small-scale farmers supported by P4P. At least 10 of the 20 P4P pilot countries report linking small-scale farmers to school feeding programmes. By strengthening government ownership and fostering community engagement, this enhances the sustainability of interventions.
P4P has assisted smallholders in Burkina Faso to improve post-harvest handling, increase yields and improve crop quality. This has enabled farmers’ organizations to market their surplus to private sector and institutional markets. Continue reading to learn five facts about progress made in Burkina Faso.
In Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia, P4P is collaborating with HarvestPlus and national governments to increase the availability of micronutrient-rich staple foods. In these countries, P4P-supported smallholders have begun to cultivate Iron Beans, Vitamin A Maize and Vitamin A Sweet Potato, benefitting from improved nutrition and increased incomes from selling their produce, which is then used as seed or in school meals programmes.
In many post-conflict countries, an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion may make collaboration among smallholder farmers challenging. In Liberia, P4P has assisted smallholders to overcome this challenge. By helping farmers to re-build relationships and grow their businesses, the pilot has been driving a shift of mind-set among farmers and their communities.