Horizontal cooperation between Brazil and Africa helps promote food security
IPC-IG Celebrates UN’s South-South Cooperation with Seminar about PAA Africa Food Purchase Programme
To celebrate the UN’s South-South Cooperation Day 2013, IPC-IG promoted a joint Seminar with the Brazilian Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea) about the PAA Africa Programme– the Food Purchase Programme “from Africans for Africa”.
The Seminar entitled “Local food purchases for schools in African countries: what is the relevance?” was presented by Darana Souza (former IPC-IG researcher and PAA Africa Coordinator for World Food Programme/Centre of Excellence Against Hunger – WFP) and Israel Klug (PAA Africa Coordinator for Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations – FAO). Full presentation available here (only in Portuguese).
The PAA Africa Programme is a joint initiative of the Brazilian government in partnership with FAO, WFP and the United Kingdom to promote food and nutrition security and income generation for farmers and vulnerable communities in African countries. The project was created after Brazil committed to strengthen partnerships with African countries in agriculture and the fight against hunger. The partnership was established during the “Brazil-Africa Dialogue on Food Security, Fighting Hunger and Rural Development”, which took place in May 2010 in Brasilia.
The project was inspired by the Brazilian successful experience of the “Food Acquisition Programme (PAA)“, and it was designed to support global efforts to eradicate hunger and malnutrition. Actually, it represents an opportunity for horizontal cooperation with African countries. The program comprises five small-scale pilot projects aimed at vulnerable communities facing food and nutrition insecurity in five Sub-Saharan African countries – Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger and Senegal.
The Seminar brought the latest findings from the first implementation phase of the project, as well as new insights of what to expect for the next phase, starting shortly. For the initial phase of the programme, Brazil’s government and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) transferred funds to WFP and FAO. These last two organisations had already established local projects under the technical orientation provided by the Brazilian government and adapted to the local needs. According to Israel, for Brazil, “such partnerships with African countries go beyond aid, as efforts to spread development locally are also at the core of the project”.
For the speakers, the educational system is key to tackle social issues, as providing food at schools enhances the enrollments rates and increases school frequency, whilst proving a mechanism of food security. Thus, according to Darana “the dialogue among policies to implement such project must increase”.
As far as local farmers are concerned, the programme promotes the inclusion of local farmers into the market, as well as it increases the technology transfer for them to improve their systems. The programme takes in consideration that local needs vary according to where the local farmer is, thereby demanding different types of policies.
The programme also draws on the experience of WFP’s local food procurement model – Purchase for Progress (P4P) - which helps create the link between local farmers and food security by purchasing the production of local farmers. Such programmes are being implemented locally, and as they work in partnerships with local governments, they also strengthen public policies. Currently, the 5 countries still remain rural in character. Both producers and the majority of the population are living in rural areas (60-84% of the population). The speakers called attention to the fact that the programme itself does not resolve the local farming problem, nor it tackles the school’s feeding issues alone.
According to the speakers, the first phase of the programme was successful in promoting dialogue and the knowledge transfer among the 5 countries. They highlight Brazil a crucial player in transferring its local experiences, since it has similar weather conditions and a relatively more empowered rural population via the Food Acquisition Programme (PAA), implemented 10 years ago. In total, the projects received US$ 4.5 million during the initial phase.
The first phase was crucial to understand the local needs in order to improve the next steps and to scale up the programme. In Ethiopia for example, the local purchase is not enough, as local farmers do not produce commodities enough to attend the schools’ needs for the programme.
The speakers called attention to some open questions, as governments need to be able to assume the protagonist role in the programmes, as well as it is crucial to build policies that create institutional markets for local farmers. Additionally, the impact of the local food purchase needs to be further analysed, in order to fully understand how they can be social policies tools for both local farmers and students. The phase II will last eighteen months and is aimed at improving the operationalization and coordination of the Programme.
To learn more about Food Security and Food Purchase initiatives in Brazil and Africa, please access IPC-IG’s publications:
Country Study #22 – The Food Security Policy Context in Brazil
Poverty in Focus #24 – The Role of South-South Cooperation in Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural Development
Working Paper #106 – Scaling Up Local Development Initiatives: Brazil’s Food Acquisition Programme
More about Food Security and South-South Dialogue available here: “Understanding food security: Video interview presents key issues for South-South dialogue”.
By Tamara Santos
Short URL: http://pressroom.ipc-undp.org/?p=15449