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Current state of food security in Africa and the Africa-EU partnership on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Paper for Second Joint Experts Group Meeting, Africa-EU MDGs Partnership, Sub Group on Priority Action 2: Accelerate the Food Security targets of the MDGs, 24 March 2009, Pretoria
March 2009
Steve Wiggins, Sharada Keats
Future Agricultures Consortium, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)


Purchase for Progress (P4P) is a pilot that seeks to ensure that food assistance in developing countries by WFP is part of the long-term solution to hunger by trying to connect smallholder farmers to markets. P4P will contribute to the efforts by the Malawi Government in its quest to eradicate poverty and improve the welfare of Malawians by increasing income and capacity of smallholder farmers to efficiently produce quality commodities beyond subsistence.

Design and objectives
  • The P4P project aims at strengthening the productive and marketing capacities of small and low-income farmers to enable them to take advantage of the marketing opportunities beyond WFP. WFP’s entry point to improving low-income farmers’ access to markets is to create a platform of substantial and stable demand for food staples. Together with supply side investment and capacity building, the demand is to stimulate an increase in yields and increased volume of marketable surpluses.

  • A key component of the pilot initiative is to identify and share with agricultural and market stakeholders’ best practices that are smallholder focused to increase their profitable engagement in markets. These may include marketing practices such as commodity quality improvement, cooperative marketing and innovations at WFP’s internal procurement procedures.

  • The P4P food procurement will focus on cereals, pulses and Likuni Phala. These commodities are istributed in the WFP operations in Malawi. The approach harmonizes well with Government plans in particular, the Ministry of Education which is currently planning a “Universal School Meals” (USM) programme where local purchase modalities from smallholders may be adopted. All this is in line with WFP’s Strategic Plan (2008-2011), Strategic Objective five (SO5) which is to “Strengthen countries’ capacity to reduce hunger through handover strategies and local purchase”.

  • The pilot project will be implemented in six districts namely Mzimba, Kasungu, Ntchisi, Mchinji, Dedza and Ntcheu where smallholder farmers’ organizations, partner organizations and government institutions will be key players. Crosscutting themes in the process

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