Considering the vulnerability of the Sahel to food crises and recognizing the potential of regional trade through its effect on price stability and supply availability, the UK Government through its Department for International Development (DFID) developed the West Africa Food Markets (WAFM) Pilot Programme to tackle the causes of market failures in West Africa’s staple food markets.
This five-year initiative is expected to improve the trade of maize, millet, sorghum, cassava/gari in the Ghana – Burkina Faso and Niger – Nigeria corridors. The programme operates as a broker and facilitator in staple food markets, providing incentives and resources to support businesses in launching pro-poor innovations and to catalyse policy and regulatory reforms. The implementers, Palladium and its partners KPMG, Saana Consulting and Carana Corporation, will deliver £9 million in competitive matching grants using two core tools: a Challenge Fund (CF) and a Policy Facility (PF).
The ultimate beneficiaries are farmers and consumers in food-insecure regions of the Sahel in the target countries. They are expected to benefit in terms of increased availability of staple foods and purchasing power, as well as increased resilience to hunger and malnutrition during the regular hungry seasons and periodic shocks. The programme is expected to reach over 130,000 farmers and more than 700,000 people (including household members) by 2018. The programme also contributes to DFID’s Sahel Disaster Resilience Strategy by improving the functioning of food markets in the Sahel in order to make food more affordable to poor people.