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 P4P approach aims to promote gender equity and the economic empowerment of women. However, in Ethiopia, engaging women farmers in P4P proved particularly challenging due to cultural and traditional practices which limit their participation in agriculture. In response, a country-specific gender initiative was launched. Here is a story from Anja Chefa about some of the promising results:
In Afghanistan, P4P has introduced a mobile factory to produce High Energy Biscuits (HEB) to reduce malnutrition, boost the local economy and provide smallholder farmers with a sustainable market. Though the new technology faced challenges in the start-up phase, it is now producing nutritious biscuits for sale on the local market and use in WFP emergency response.
For five years, the P4P pilot has experimented with innovative procurement modalities, allowing WFP to purchase staple food commodities more directly from low-income smallholder farmers.
Purchase from Africans for Africa (PAA Africa) – a pilot project inspired by the Brazilian learning on institutional food procurement – recently released a report on the lessons learned from the first phase of implementation. This report details the joint efforts in five countries to increase smallholder farmers’ access to markets while improving the food security of students.