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Purchase for Progress begins in Kenya

WFP staff load the rice bought from farmers onto trucks (WFP/Gabrielle Menzes)
WFP staff load the rice bought from farmers onto trucks
WFP/Gabrielle Menzes

WFP has bought food from small-scale farmers in Kenya for the first time, under its Purchase for Progress (P4P) scheme. The purchase of 45 tons of rice from farmers in Ahero, Western Kenya, is part of the initiative launched in September 2008, which seeks to offer guaranteed markets to smallholder farmers, in addition to helping them access seeds, fertilisers and tools. "We help support local farmers," said Burkard Oberle, WFP country director, and "the rice grown in Ahero will be used in WFP's operation to assist Kenyans hit by drought."

WFP has purchased food locally in Kenya for years, but for the first time the UN agency is buying food direct from smallholders. "It is imperative we focus on helping more Kenyans to grow their own food rather than giving food assistance in emergencies," Oberle explained. P4P is being piloted in 21 countries, and aims to significantly increase the income of 350,000 smallholder farmers and help them access local and regional markets.

Date published: July 2009


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