USDA LRP Program
FY2016 Funding Recommendation:
President's FY2016 Request
InterAction's FY2016 Recommendation
*This program was established as part of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (also known as the U.S. Farm Bill), and had not been previously authorized.
Around the world, 805 million people go to bed hungry every night, either suffering from chronic food insecurity, or recovering from the effects of violent conflicts and natural disasters. It is crucial, therefore, that the United States maintain its position as a champion of international food aid. Food aid reforms authorized in the 2014 farm bill are an important step toward addressing food insecurity. For FY2016, we recommend fully funding the new USDA Local and Regional Procurement (LRP) Program authorized at $80 million, which would provide more flexible programming, primarily for non-emergency food assistance activities.
Rigorous analysis of the USDA Local and Regional Procurement (LRP) Pilot Project, which was authorized by the 2008 farm bill, has shown that LRP practices enable both emergency and non-emergency assistance to be delivered more quickly, at considerable savings, with the ultimate benefit of reaching larger numbers of vulnerable people compared with traditional U.S. food aid shipments. LRP also generates important developmental impacts by spurring local economic activity and helping form and strengthen local markets.
The 2014 farm bill conference report’s statement of managers affirms that the intent of LRP programming is to complement existing food aid programs – especially the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program – and to fill in nutritional gaps for targeted populations, or food availability gaps generated by unexpected emergencies. In carrying out LRP activities, we strongly encourage USDA to collaborate with USAID, per legislative guidance, as the agencies consider program design and the best ways to use this tool.
Local and regional procurement in Niger: saves lives, saves money, strengthens markets
In Niger, Mercy Corps successfully implemented three local and regional procurement (LRP) projects that improved the lives of over 220,000 people and procured more than 12,000 metric tons of food from local businesses. An impartial Cornell University report on Mercy Corps’ programs found that local and regionally procured food was delivered an average of 4 months faster than traditional transoceanic shipments and saved at least $1.4 million in taxpayer dollars. In addition to being faster and cheaper, these LRP programs supported local private businesses in Niger, where local vendors found that participation in LRP programs increased their business, helped them hire more local workers, and created a more sustainable local farm economy.
Photo Credit: Mercy Corps