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
Procurement from P4P-supported smallholder farmers has played an integral role in changing the way WFP approaches food quality and safety. These purchases have illustrated the importance of addressing the root causes of quality issues through prevention and early detection, and have enabled WFP to take a leading role in advocating for better food quality standards.
Preliminary procurement figures from the P4P pilot treatment period (September 2008 – December 2013) are now available, showing that WFP has contracted over 430,000 metric tons (mt) of commodities at a value exceeding US$ 167 million. Smallholders have also been successfully connected to sustainable markets, having sold over 200,000 mt of commodities to markets beyond WFP.
In West Africa, P4P is working closely with partners to develop the capacity of smallholder farmers to produce a protein- and nutrient-rich crop called niébé (cowpeas/black-eyed peas). Through training as well as the provision of equipment and improved seeds, P4P has helped smallholders engage in collective sales and access new markets, opening up opportunities for farmers—especially women—across the region.
In Tanzania, P4P-supported Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) have been successfully linked to sustainable markets such as the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA). Although SACCOs have sold over 5,000 metric tons of quality crops to markets beyond WFP, challenges remain to further encourage buyers to purchase from smallholders. Read the P4P in Tanzania fact sheet to learn more.