18th April, 2011. During an official visit to Brazil, HE President Kikwete took time out of his schedule to visit the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger.
He was greeted by the Director of the Centre, Mr. Daniel Balaban who provided an overview of the Brazilian’s Zero Hunger Strategy, which is credited with lifting 35 million people out of abject poverty and hunger in Brazil between 2003 and 2011.
The President was very interested to understand how Brazil has achieved this level of success so quickly. The critical role of the Brazil’s National School Feeding programme in the strategy with its linkages to small-holder farmers was highlighted as one of the main drivers in its success in reducing hunger. President Kikwete congratulated WFP for its work in Tanzania, and for establishing the Centre of Excellence Against Hunger with Brazil, and looks forward to working together, as a national school feeding programme is under consideration. He noted the opportunity of linking the school feeding programme to family farmers and facilitating market access.
WFP in Tanzania is currently implementing a school feeding programme that assists over 500,000 children in 1200 schools. Additionally, the WFP Tanzania is a Purchase for Progress pilot (P4P) whereby WFP is buying from small-holder farmers. Since 2009, a value of US$ 1.3 million was procured directly from small-holder farmers through the P4P initiative. Future plans are to work on transition strategy for the WFP programmes to support the development of nationally-led and owned programme. The Centre committed its support to the process.