Local and Regional Procurement of Food Aid in Uganda: The Experience of Maize Traders
Local and regional procurement (LRP), the purchase of foods for food assistance in or near an affected region, is growing in importance in the world of food assistance. Food aid has been traditionally “tied,” which is to say contingent on sourcing in donor countries. The political climate in agricultural policy and food assistance has been changing over the past decade, however, and donors are increasingly compelled by the cost and other advantages of LRP.
Regional sourcing in developing countries near to affected countries is increasingly common. Uganda, as a hearty producer of grains located in a broader region affected by food insecurity and conflict, has become a key source for regional procurement. The World Food Program (WFP) began procuring food, mainly maize and beans, in Uganda in 2000. Over the past five years procurement volumes averaged over 100,000 metric tons annually, and are set to more than double in 2011.