P4P News

News on Purchase for Progress, both from the projects around the world and from WFP headquarters.

Coffee rust in Latin America showcases need for further improvements in smallholder resilience

Coffee production and export is a vital component of most Latin American economies. This has been negatively affected by coffee rust, a fungus, which reduces yields and crop quality.  Since its outbreak in the region in 2012, coffee rust has caused more than US$ 1 billion in economic damages. These negative impacts are most felt by smallholder family farmers, though entire rural communities are affected.

Coffee rust impacts smallholder farmers

Though P4P focuses on staple crops purchased by WFP, such as maize and beans, coffee rust is affecting P4P-supported smallholder farmers.

Five facts about connecting smallholders to markets in Mali

Continue reading to learn five facts about progress made in Mali.

Smallholders are benefiting from financial inclusion.

Farmers’ organizations have facilitated access to credit for their members through the National Bank of Agriculture and various micro-finance institutions using contracts signed with WFP as collateral. This has enabled farmers’ organizations to purchase agricultural inputs such as improved seeds and fertilizer, for use when they are needed most. For many smallholders, this has led to increased production.

5 facts about linking smallholder farmers to markets in Burkina Faso

The government has started a P4P-like procurement programme.

SONAGESS, the national food reserve of Burkina Faso, has now committed to procuring 30 percent of its food needs from smallholder farmers. Government representatives have also visited Rwanda to learn about Common P4P, the Government of Rwanda’s smallholder-friendly market development programme.

P4P-supported smallholders sold US$ 5.7 million worth of commodities to WFP and other markets.

P4P promoting increased access to micronutrient-rich crops

HarvestPlus works to reduce micronutrient deficiencies worldwide by developing and disseminating high yielding staple crops rich in vitamins and minerals. These crops are bred conventionally through a process called biofortification. New evidence has suggested that biofortification can be a particularly effective strategy to reduce micronutrient deficiencies, particularly when it can be complemented by other interventions, such as fortification and supplementation.

P4P supporting farmers’ cooperatives for sustainable growth

P4P has worked to support agricultural cooperatives with capacity development in both agricultural best practices and organizational management and business skills. Throughout the pilot period (2008-2013), P4P has supported farmers’ organizations in 20 countries. The size and capacity of P4P-supported FOs varies widely from one country to another and includes a variety of structures, from small grassroots organizations to large farmers’ federations.

Spotlight on P4P in El Salvador

P4P in El Salvador focuses on capacity-building and strengthening farmers’ organizations. Due to reduced food assistance requirements, WFP does not constitute a significant market for P4P-supported organizations. Therefore, P4P focuses on strengthening relationships with private sector buyers, including agroindustry and retail markets, and carries out negotiation rounds to teach farmers’ organizations how to meet buyers’ requirements and to negotiate input purchases.

Brazilian pro-smallholder procurement model inspires African governments

In June, PAA Africa hosted an  Institutional Markets Knowledge Sharing Seminar in Addis where P4P and other partners met to discuss smallholder procurement and share lessons learned.

The initiative, which was inspired by Brazil’s national Programa de Aquisição de Alimentos (Food Purchase Programme), also aligns with WFP’s Home Grown School Feeding programme, in which commodities are often purchased from local smallholder farmers using P4P modalities.

Spotlight on P4P in Uganda

Overview - P4P in Uganda

In Uganda, P4P focuses on strengthening the capacity of farmers’ organizations to aggregate and sell commodities to quality buyers, such as WFP, local millers, traders for export and others. Through partnerships with the government, indigenous and international NGOs, and other partners, P4P has provided smallholder farmers with the necessary training and equipment to increase their production, improve crop quality and strengthen the marketing capacity of farmers’ organizations.

Beyond beneficiary numbers: Unlocking the potential of women farmers

A modified version of this blog post was published on the Guardian Global Development Profession Network 12 June 2014.

In developing countries, women are the backbone of the rural economy and are responsible for 60 to 80 percent of food production. They are also highly knowledgeable about crop varieties.

However, women face many challenges that can preclude them from independently owning or managing land and productive assets. In many households, men control the production and marketing of crops as well as household finances.

WFP scaling up successful post-harvest programme for smallholder farmers

The results from WFP’s action research evaluation trial on “Reducing food losses in sub-Saharan Africa” clearly show the benefits for smallholders investing in post-harvest handling techniques and storage technologies. In the trial, 400 smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso and Uganda compared their traditional storage facilities with methods and equipment which have proven effective in developed countries, such as metal and plastic silos as well as different kinds of inexpensive hermetic (airtight and water-proof) storage bags.