JOHANNESBURG – The World Food Programme’s Centre of Excellence against Hunger is launching a research initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to analyse Brazil’s success in linking smallholder farmers with government demand for farmed food.
The launch is taking place at this week’s Global Child Nutrition Forum in Johannesburg which runs until 3 October.
The aim of the research is to share evidence from the Brazilian experience to help other countries achieve similar success. In the last decade, Brazil has gained widespread recognition for fighting hunger and extreme poverty, in part through its local procurement programme.
“This project will look at the costs and benefits of governments buying food from smallholders such as cooperatives and family farms and how this is linked to advances in national food security. It will also present an investment case study for other countries,” says Daniel Balaban, Director of WFP’s Centre of Excellence against Hunger, who is attending the Global Child Nutrition Forum in Johannesburg.
Brazil has lifted millions of people out of poverty under a strategy that includes buying food from local farmers for public institutions such as hospitals, schools and orphanages. One major public programme is Home-Grown School Feeding which provides school meals to around 45 million students each day in Brazilian public schools. For students, it encourages attendance and helps them concentrate in class. For farmers, the predictable government purchases reduce risk and encourage improved quality and higher incomes.
The research initiative will include five different studies, conducted in partnership with two renowned research institutions based in Brazil: the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, a research institute specialized in the evaluation of public programmes, and the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, a global forum for policy dialogue and South-South learning on development innovations. The research results will be released in 2015.
The Global Child Nutrition Forum is the leading international event on school feeding - around the world, 368 million children receive a daily meal at school. About 250 participants will attend the Forum, including ministers, government officials and representatives of UN agencies and non-governmental organizations. It is being organized by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation in partnership with WFP’s Centre of Excellence against Hunger. It is supported by the Government of Brazil, through its National Fund for the Development of Education and the Social Service for Industry Brazil, the Government of South Africa and WFP’s South Africa Regional Office.
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