Increasing agricultural productivity among smallholder farmers and helping them sell their crops in more profitable markets are two things that P4P strives for. Is this being achieved? The experts share their views.
The members of the P4P Technical Review Panel, a group of nine experts in markets, trade and agriculture, met in Uganda and visited the programme there. Limited access to facilities to dry, clean and aggregate commodities is one of the major obstacles that smallholder farmers face. The weather conditions are not favourable to dry maize which then fails to meet the standards of quality required. Farmers also lack adequate storage to keep and gather enough volume of grain to attract a good price. P4P in Uganda is helping develop rural collection points and warehouses that provide drying, cleaning and grading services. The warehouses operate a receipts system that enables farmers to deposit their crops in return for a receipt worth a percentage of its value, and be exchanged for its value at a local bank. The members of the Technical Review Panel visited the Kapchorwa Commercial Farmers’ Association that is already selling to WFP and will be managing a warehouse of 2,000 metric tons, as well as a warehouse receipt facility managed by the private sector and a farmers’ organization that uses this facility.