Connecting farmers to markets
As the world’s largest humanitarian agency, WFP is a major buyer of staple food. In 2012, WFP bought US$1.1 billion worth of food – more than 75 percent of this in developing countries. With the Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative, WFP is taking this one step further. P4P uses WFP’s purchasing power and its expertise in logistics and food quality to offer smallholder farmers opportunities to access agricultural markets, to become competitive players in those markets and thus to improve their lives.
The five-year pilot initiative links WFP’s demand for staple food in 20 countries with the expertise of a host of partners who support farmers to produce food surpluses and sell them at a fair price. By 2013, at least half a million smallholder farmers will have increased and improved their agricultural production and earnings. By raising farmers’ incomes, P4P turns WFP’s local procurement into a vital tool to address hunger. Learn more
At the 2013 annual Africa Farmer’s Organization Award ceremony, eight out of 16 awards presented went to P4P-supported farmers’ organizations. The ceremony took place during the Africa Farmer Organization Conference in Ghana, where farmers met to share ideas and experience to improve their productivity and income.
With the five year P4P pilot treatment period coming to a close in December 2013, an independent evaluation will be conducted next year. The terms of reference for the evaluation were recently finalised after close consultation with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders.
Thanks to an agreement between WFP and Tanzania’s National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA), smallholder farmers have gained access to a sustainable market for their crops. By building smallholder farmers’ capacity and connecting them to the NFRA, P4P continues to boost sales and incomes for the farmers and their families, while contributing to the long-term food security of the country.
Since the beginning of the P4P implementation in El Salvador, the strategy has been to strengthen smallholder farmers’ capacities and link them to sustainable markets beyond WFP. Despite facing numerous challenges, the P4P-supported farmers have now organized themselves, developed logotypes and created barcodes for collective sales to supermarkets and other stable buyers.