The World Food Programme (WFP) Sierra Leone with support from the Japanese Government will be organizing a hand-over ceremony of the second consignment of 16 metric tons (320 bags of 50kg each) of locally produced milled rice on Wednesday this week at the Collection Site, of the Financial and Agricultural Union in Largo Town, Kenema District.
The rice will be procured from two farmers’ organizations Samie Foluma Development Association and the Financial and Agricultural Union Largo under the Purchase for Progress initiative of Locally Produced Milled Rice from Smallholder Farmers for School Meals Programme in Sierra Leone.
This rice will be used to provide a hot daily meal for some 4,300 primary school children for 2 months mainly in the Western Area and Southern District. Out of a total of 500 metric tons of locally milled rice expected to be bought this year under the P4P, 112 metric tons have been collected so far including the day’s 16 metric tons.
P4P is an extension of WFP local procurement practice for increased smallholder market engagement. It explores different procurement options to cater for the ability and potential of small-scale suppliers. Sierra Leone is one of 21 pilot countries of P4P and focuses on purchasing from smallholder farmers’ organizations through direct contracts and competitions with some flexibility.
In Sierra Leone, P4P implementation creates synergies with the on-going supply-side interventions of government and non-governmental organizations to stimulate production add value to produce and increase market participation by smallholder farmers.
In 2009 10 farmers’ organizations were selected by WFP and its partners through a coordination mechanism P4P Programme Advisory Group. Each farmer’s organization signed a direct contract with WFP to supply up to 50 metric tons of locally produced milled rice.
WFP supports Sierra Leone’s Smallholder Commercialization Scheme aimed at stimulating production and enhancing access to markets within the National Sustainable Agricultural Development Plan in line with the Government’s Agenda for Change.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency which provides food assistance to the hungry and the most vulnerable. As markets grow in developing countries, WFP finds more food procurement opportunities in places closest to its operations. In 2009 a total of 2.1 million metric tons was purchased in developing countries at a value of almost US$772 million which represents 82 percent of the total quantity purchased and 80 percent of the total value. WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In 2010, WFP aims to feed 90 million people in 74 countries.
By Saidu Bah