Kenya, P4P, the WFP, plus 45 Tons of Rice.

Purchase for Progress (P4P) is a groundbreaking initiative, launched in September 2008, from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). It is designed to change the way the WFP purchases food in developing countries. It has been a WFP policy for many years to purchase food in the same country where they have operations.

The new development in P4P, is the first purchase of food directly from small farmers in Kenya. 45 tons of rice have been bought from farmers in Ahero, Western Kenya, and will be used to help Kenyans hit by drought. Although the WFP has bought food locally in Kenya for some years, it is a significant development to buy directly from the smallholders.

There is a short video available on the WFP site, showing Anne Rono in Bommett, Kenya, explaining how P4P can change her life.


Allanblackia, mkimbo + edible oils

Having a tree named after you is quite something, but long before the Scottish Kew botanist Allan Black, there was a tree called mkimbo. This was a tree with a seed yielding an edible oil.
Well, nothing very startling there. What is now so different is that it may have a new commercial future.
And is that really new?
Not really, because there are records showing that 68 tons of Kagne butter was produced in Eastern Tanzania in 1958. It also seems that it was used as a butter substitute to make chocolate during World War I. I don’t consider that chocolate should contain butter, but I’m willing to try the Allanblackia version; under very mild duress.

Allanblackia as a genus, comprises nine species growing from East to West Africa in the tropical belt. The fruits hold up to fifty seeds, and those seeds yield an oil high in stearic acid. In fact, an oil that has been used for many years to make soap, as well as used as a cooking oil.

Allanblackia seeds have been until now wild harvested, but Unilever has supported the establishment of a private-public initiative, Novella Africa, to set up supply chains and to cultivate the trees for commercial seed production.

This is not a boost for a website, and was certainly not meant to be a commercial for Unilever, but I keep noticing Unilever initiatives which appeal to me. Free samples of soap may be sent to the following address …