Nelly Bassily | August 15, 2011
Purchase for Progress is the World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) initiative to buy crops for food aid from small-scale farmers. It was launched in September 2008, and will run until September 2013. It operates in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, as well as in Asia and Latin America. More details on the program can be found on the WFP’s website: http://www.wfp.org/purchase-progress.
The United States is considering cutting aid which may affect the WFP. They may also be facing pressure from big business interests at home. For example, some commentators are concerned about the effect that a successful Purchase for Progress project, which benefits African farmers and those affected by hunger and famine, could have on businesses in the US. Read for example: http://www.tradenewswire.net/2011/african-farmers-challenge-adm-for-bigger-share-of-u-s-food-aid/
In 2009, Farm Radio Weekly reported that the first food purchased through the program in Kenya was delivered to Kenyans hit by drought:
If you work in any of the countries where WFP and the Purchase for Progress project operates, you may consider investigating how local farmers can get involved with the program, and share this information with your listeners. If any of your audience sells their harvest to WFP this is a good interview opportunity. Have they benefitted from the project? Are the conditions fair? Have there been any drawbacks or challenges? How do they suggest the project could be expanded or continued beyond 2013? You could also ask them to comment on proposed international funding cuts.