Dakar – PAA Africa is a relatively new programme that supports food purchases from smallholder farmers and focuses on the participatory and social aspects to improve food security and nutrition.
The first PAA Africa workshop was recently held in Dakar and included participants from the various actors involved – WFP, FAO, UK Department of International Development, Brazilian experts and Senegalese Government officials, including the Prime Minister of Senegal Abdoul Mbaye.
"The PAA Africa Programme is a joint initiative to promote food and nutrition security and at the same time generate income for farmers and vulnerable communities,” said Brazilian Ambassador to Senegal Maria da Elisa Luna.
The workshop identified strengths and possibilities for improvement of ongoing pilot projects in Senegal.
"In Brazil, President Lula designed the ‘Zero Hunger’ strategy, a set of coordinated projects with the PAA-Brazil. In Senegal, President Macky Sall, similarly realized the magnitude and urgency of the food crisis in rural areas and proposed to the Senegalese people the ‘Yoonu Yokkute’ programme to free rural areas from chronic food insecurity and poverty," said Prime Minister of Senegal Abdoul Mbaye during his opening remarks.
The pilot project of PAA Africa is taking place in Kédougou, southeast Senegal, and is funded by the Brazilian Government. Under the project, WFP purchases rice from smallholder farmers to be used in school canteens. In Kédougou, roughly 1,000 vulnerable households and 115 school canteens are currently benefiting from the programme. PAA Africa aims to integrate agricultural activities into education as a means to promote local agriculture.
“The PAA Africa represents a powerful economic lever to boost local agricultural production and ensure good coverage of food needs of rural communities,” said WFP Senegal Country Director Inge Breuer. “WFP and FAO have been working together on PAA Africa since 2010. We are now creating a strong synergy and enhancing the impact of our actions on people vulnerable. FAO provides technical expertise in the area of productive capacity through training and the supply of inputs, while WFP contributes through its experience in the field with a similar program, Purchase for Progress.”