The UN organisation World Food Programme (WFP) announced last week that it will start purchasing food directly from farmer associations in developing countries. This new initiative, called Purchase for Progress (P4P) will be piloted in up to 21 countries over the next five years.
Josette Sheeran, the Executive Director of WFP states “Purchasing food in the country where we have operations has been a WFP policy for many years. It’s called ‘local procurement’. In 2008, WFP will spend up to US$ 1 billion buying food from developing countries to assist 90 million hungry people worldwide. P4P builds on local procurement and takes it a step further. It enables smallholder and low-income farmers to supply food to WFP’s global operations and to gain more by doing so. P4P will give farmers the know-how and the tools to be competitive players in the agricultural marketplace. It will also put more cash directly into their pockets in return for their crops.”