P4P Purchase for Progress | A primer

In southeastern Rwanda, Amina Munyana and her husband feed a family of nine by growing  rice, maize and beans on two hectares of land and by keeping a cow. Thanks to hard work and support from their farmers’ organization “Indakemwa”, they have been able to triple their  production over the past four years, and have started looking for markets. “Before P4P, we  would grow our crops but we were never sure if there would be any market. P4P brought the  market to us,” says Amina. The biggest improvement has been in post-harvest handling; Amina  has received training in a new drying technique. “Before we would lose 500 kg during and after harvest, now this has reduced to about 100 kg!”

The five-year Purchase for Progress (P4P) pilot initiative launched by the World Food Programme in September 2008 is a partnership of many actors and stakeholders spanning the sectors of smallholder development, market development and food assistance brought together around the WFP food demand platform. Three years into implementation, the diversity of strategies and approaches across the 21 pilot countries is building a robust body of knowledge.

This document describes the various features and the evolution of the P4P pilot during the first three years of implementation. The first chapter provides the internal and external background and context for P4P. The second chapter reviews P4P in detail including discussions of its theoretical foundations, main components and underlying assumptions. The third chapter describes selected topics in the design of P4P including establishing targets, partnerships and capacity-building activities, the roles of government and WFP, and gender strategies. Subsequent chapters examine risks, challenges and emerging lessons.

We hope that this primer provides a clear idea of how P4P is contributing to improving the lives of people like Amina in diverse contexts and environments on three continents.