As of July 2011, WFP has contracted to buy over 187,000 tons of food under P4P. When WFP receives the food, the agency uses it mostly for food assistance programmes within the same country – but it also increasingly looks for opportunities to buy from smallholders for aid programmes in neighbouring countries.
Of the 21 P4P pilot countries, 20 have now bought food using P4P’s pro-smallholder modalities. Out of the 187,000 tons contracted by WFP, a total of 115,000 tons has been delivered so far. The remainder is either still to be delivered or was defaulted. To learn more about defaults and why they occur, read this story.
Food purchased through P4P is so far mostly used for WFP operations within the same country. The food bought from smallholder farmers is distributed in programmes such as school feeding, food-for-work, nutrition interventions or as rations for refugees. However, WFP is also looking at opportunities to meet its regional needs with pro-smallholder purchases.
In some cases, commodities have already been purchased under P4P and exported to a neighbouring country for a WFP operation:
- In 2010, WFP bought over 6,500 tons of maize and other commodities through the Zambian Commodity Exchange for its operations in DRC and another 1,400 tons of food for its food assistance operations in Zimbabwe;
- Also in 2010, WFP bought 1,000 tons of rice for its emergency operation in Niger from the Malian farmers’ organisation Faso Jigi, followed by a next purchase of 2,000 tons of rice for the emergency operation in Côte D'Ivoire in 2011;
- In 2011, WFP purchased 3,775 tons of food through the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) in Malawi for its operations in Mozambique.
When WFP is buying food for export from farmers’ organisations like Faso Jigi, the reliability and capacity of the vendor to deliver is critical. To avoid a default and possible consequences for the recipients of WFP food assistance, purchase contracts are only concluded when the farmers’ organisation has the required quality and quantity of food in stock.
To be in a position to benefit from regional market opportunities such as WFP’s regional demand, farmers’ organisations must have the capacity and resources to bulk and process commodities for quality-conscious markets. Holding and operating from a position of stock is necessary for the organisations to seize and respond to new market opportunities. Essentially, it is about anticipating market opportunities – and preparing to be ready to react to these opportunities when they appear.