61 Connecting family farmers to institutional markets

Results of South-South cooperation on adapting the Brazilian "Zero Hunger” to the African context

Organizers: FAO; WFP; Brazil; International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG)


International policy practice shows that public food procurement processes can be tailored creating a long-term demand through the family farmers’ production. When for supplying food assistance programmes, as school food interventions, the efficiency of this kind of initiative relies on policy, normative and implementation coherence among the different sub-sectors contributing to food and nutrition security, namely agriculture, social protection and education. The multi-sectoral policy coherence and convergence was one of the key factors of success of the Brazilian Zero Hunger (Fome Zero) and consequently of the Brazilian initiatives linking small-scale family farmers with institutional and markets in general. In the context of the subsequent years of the 2008 food crises, the Brazilian government established a partnership with five African governments (Ethiopia, Malawi, Senegal, Niger, Mozambique), the FAO and WFP, in order of implementing projects linking small producers to school food purchases, and to provide technical assistance for policy decisions on the theme. After five years of project implementation, this side-event will present and disseminate the results of this South-South cooperation initiative, and, by building dialogue with the members of CFS, it intends to discuss the challenges and ways forwards, taking in consideration the policy commitments of African governments.

Key speakers

Ambassador Maria Laura da Rocha  - Permanent Representative of Brazil to FAO, WFP and IFAD

José Costa Neto - Director of Educational Initiatives at the Brazilian National Fund for the Development of Education

Ana Miranda - Research Leader for the PAA Africa project monitoring at the UNDP-IPC-IG

Aly Mohamed dit Sega Camara - Secrétaire Exécutif du Conseil national pour la Sécurité Alimentaire du Senegal (Se/Cnsa)

Leulseged Yimer - Regional Home Grown School Food Program Coordinator Bureau of Education of the SNNP region in Ethiopia

Gianluca Ferrera - WFP Senior Programme Adviser – Purchase for Progress

Günter Hemrich - FAO Deputy Director of Nutrition and Food Systems Division

Maya Takagi - FAO Deputy Leader of Strategic Objective Programme – “Reduce Rural Poverty” 

Main themes/issues discussed

The discussions and presentations explored three groups of policies and practices and respective interlinks. As a consolidate policy presenting a national coverage, the Brazilian process of including family farming production in the purchases of the national school feeding programme was presented as a result of the Zero Hunger. The final monitoring results of the PAA Africa project were presented, it is an international cooperation project of the Brazilian humanitarian cooperation and counting with the technical leadership of FAO and WFP, and UK’s financial support in five African countries (Malawi, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Senegal and Niger). The Governments of Senegal and Ethiopia demonstrated how they are taking-up the lessons learned through the PAA Africa and advancing with the FAO and WFP technical support for the consolidation of national policies and programmes.

Summary of key points

The Brazilian institutional procurement programmes are instrumental to provide access for family famers to the national public procurement intricate procedures.

The positive results on institutional markets in Brazil are related to the scale of the public purchases and food assistance programs and to the enabling environment for family farmers promoted by the Zero Hunger.

The PAA Africa successfully implemented local food procurement for school feeding from smallholder farmers in five African countries by using different procurement modalities and levels of decentralization. It enabled the school feeding initiatives to work with a more diversified food basket, introducing legumes, fresh vegetables and fruits.

Despite the positive operational results and achievements on policy support, some challenges remain for an up-scaled and nationally owned initiative: i) better coordination between production support and procurement targeting can be envisaged through policy and operational convergence and coherence between the agricultural and educational sectors; ii) avoidance of delays on contracting and financial transfers as well as on reducing the time lags for payments can improve the performance of such initiatives.

The PAA Africa contributions for Ethiopia and Senegal were highlighted. In Ethiopia the operational procurement procedures developed in the context of the PAA informed a broader Government food procurement initiative for school feeding in other regions, and the PAA Africa technical and knowledge support provided inputs for the formulation of a national school feeding strategy. In Senegal, the Government included the institutional procurement (PAA Africa) in the Triennial Priority Investment Plan and a substantial scaling-up is in the plan.

FAO and WFP highlighted how institutional procurement is part of their strategic frameworks for working for sustainable food systems for better diets and nutrition.

Key outcomes/take away messages

The presented cooperation initiative provided insights on how to leverage a Rome based UN agencies’ collaboration, counting with triangular cooperation, in order to advance on the implementation of the CFS recommendations.

Overcoming short and long-term challenges is key for maximizing the benefits of institutional markets for smallholder farmers through up-scaled programmes operating in enabling environments in African national contexts.

It is clear the commitment of Ethiopia and Senegal with institutional markets and the value added of specialized technical assistance and international cooperation for tackling the associated challenges in the African countries.