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WFP aims to connect smallholder farmers to global markets
In January 2016, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced an agreement that aims to unlock opportunities for smallholder farmers in the developing world.
Together with a consortium of leading public and private sector organisations, the Patient Pro-curement Platform (PPP) aims to make it possible for farmers to plant, harvest and sell enough high-quality crops to boost their income and increase food security. The platform intends to offer farmers access not only to quality seeds and other inputs but also insurance and financing, as well as a predictable market.
Consortium members who signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2016 include: AGRA, Bayer, GrowAfrica, the International Finance Corporation, Rabobank, Syngenta, WFP, and Yara International. The consortium will also include local members across the agricultural value chain, including commodity buyers, in each of the 25 countries where it will be active.
Shifting from subsistence farming to market-oriented agriculture
With the support of the consortium, more than 1 million of the world’s poorest farmers in 25 countries should be able to shift from subsistence farming to market-oriented agriculture by facili-tating their access to fair harvest contracts before planting begins, obtaining agricultural inputs to increase yields, and receiving other forms of support including training sessions from consortium members or other providers.
The platform was introduced late 2015 and is now operating in three African markets. In Rwanda, 20,000 farmers have obtained contracts to sell a combined 8,000 metric tons (MT) of maize to a local buyer. In Tanzania, six local and regional buyers have joined WFP to contract 38,000 metric tons of maize and 5,000 metric tons of pigeon peas from 30,000 farmers who now have access to loans from local consortium member banks to expand production. In Zambia, three regional buy-ers have joined WFP to contract 17,000 metric tons of five different commodity crops from family farmers.
The platform builds on WFP’s previous work through Purchase for Progress (P4P) that supports smallholder farmers to better include the private sector, and provides extra demand, financing and inputs needed to bring efforts to scale and make the largest impact.
Over the next three years, the platform aims to engage 1.5 million farmers across 25 countries with USD 750 million worth of contracts through a wide array of local, regional and international buyers.