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
The coffee rust outbreak devastating crops in Latin America has negatively affected local economies and is limiting smallholders’ ability to reinvest in their staple crop production. Though the increased capacity of smallholder farmers and their organizations enables them to better respond to shocks, the coffee rust outbreak has highlighted the need for increased efforts.
In rural areas of Mali, agriculture is the primary source of income. Smallholder farmers contribute to almost 90 percent of the country’s agricultural production, but have historically struggled to access quality markets, generally settling for low farm gate prices. Today, smallholder farmers in Mali are increasingly marketing their crops collectively to WFP and private sector markets, including sales to processing units and milling enterprises.
In the Nueva Segovia region of Nicaragua, P4P is supporting farmers’ organizations to utilize low-cost, environmentally-friendly techniques and technologies. These sustainable practices, which include minimal tillage farming and the use of organic materials in soil enrichment, are enabling smallholders to benefit from increased yields, improved crop quality and reduced production costs.
Rural women in developing countries often lack basic literacy skills, making it difficult for women farmers to benefit from training activities which could improve their agricultural production and increase their incomes. Because of this, in many pilot countries, P4P has incorporated basic reading and writing skills into training in order to promote their participation.