USDA Local & Regional Procurement (LRP) Program

FY2017 Funding Recommendation:  
$80 million

 

Funding History

       Enacted   

       President's FY2017 Request   

       InterAction's FY2017 Recommendation

*FY16 Omnibus included $5 million in McGovern Dole.
**President’s Request includes $5 million in McGovern Dole.  


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Justification

 Key Facts

  • A USDA study of the pilot project shows that food aid purchased locally or regionally arrived, on average, 74 days faster than U.S.-sourced commodities.

  • An independent study on the USDA pilot project showed that locally purchased food aid was on average 25% less expensive than shipments from the U.S., and that recipients were more satisfied with the food they received.

  • Focusing LRP resources on purchasing from smallholder farmers helps those farmers improve their agricultural skills and marketing knowledge, and bolsters household incomes in their communities.

  • LRP linked to McGovern-Dole programming will help school feeding become more sustainable over the long-term. For example, a local purchase program in Ethiopia that purchases food from smallholder farmers to use in school feeding programs has generated over $16 million for these farmers while at the same time keeping school children full and focused during class.

Around the world, 795 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 FY2017, we recommend fully funding the Local and Regional Procurement (LRP) Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the authorized level of $80 million, which would provide more effective and flexible programming, primarily for developmental (non-emergency) food assistance activities that lift families out of cycles of poverty.

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.

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