Public procurement of family farming in Brazil
Adjunct Professor at the University of Brasília (UnB). Brasília, Federal District, Brazil. Postdoctoral from the Graduate Program of Social Sciences in Development, Agriculture and Society. PhD. in Economic Development. Master in Agribusiness. Graduation in Agronomy.
Please cite the paper as:
Armando Fornazier, (2016), Public procurement of family farming in Brazil, World Economics Association (WEA) Conferences, No. 2 2016, Food and Justice, 5th November to 15th December 2016
Family farming in Brazil has specific policies. Regarding agricultural commercialization, in 2003, the federal government launched the Zero Hunger strategy and took actions to promote food and nutrition security to eradicate hunger in Brazil. The Food Procurement Program (PAA) was set up with a view to acquiring food to donate to social organizations and to establish strategic stocks. The market was expanded in 2009 when it was provided by law that a minimum of 30% of the federal grant for National School Feeding Programme (PNAE) to states and municipalities should be spent in the acquisition of family farmed production. The objective of this study is to describe the public procurement programs of family farming in Brazil. For this is used mainly literature sources. It is found that in relation to PAA were created new forms in order to include new farmers and new beneficiaries. Currently there are six purchasing modalities of family farming. For purchases for school feeding (PNAE), even though be mandatory to purchase 30% family farming, some cities especially large urban centers are having trouble to comply with the law. The problems occur due to the difficulties of organization of farmers, infrastructure, political willingness, etc. However, in smaller municipalities the program has achieved the minimum purchase and in some municipalities purchased more than the minimum required. Thus, in addition to encouraging local farmers encourages the consumption of fresh and healthy products for children.
Although I realise there is often a big gap between the theory of a programme and the actual application of it I firmly support the idea of the family farming programme to feed the school children and the sick. The reason for this belief is based on actual experience my wife and I had as volunteers in the West Sepik province in Papua New Guinea in the 1970s In this area severe malnutrition was a major problem eg three year old children weighing about 15 pound weight, Furthermore the children went to school without having had any food and did not expect to have any food until that evening. The teachers both expatriate and local were very frustrated because the children often fell asleep or were unable to comprehend what the teacher was trying to teach them. However this all changed when we were able to get a New Zealand milk biscuit and give each child one each day at the commencement of school. The change this made was quiet spectacular firstly the children no longer fell asleep and secondly the teachers said the children responded well to the education if it was relative to the world around them. Here I am aware that their are many uninformed so called experts who argue that giving milk to a child who is not used to milk products is likely to give them diarea. My answer to that is in the early days of giving milk powder to children in places such as PNG the problem was not in the milk powder , but in the lack of clean water and facilities, however the milk biscuits solved those problems. Thus the result of my experience is adequate food for the child is what facilitates the child’s abilities to learn and provided and if the education is relative the conditions they experience in real life then as the children progress through school they are in a position to improve conditions for the whole community. Finally the importance of adequate food for all socially deprived school children is equally important in all countries.
Idea of the family farming programme to feed the school children is brilliant one. In Ghana I had the opportunity of being part of a school feeding project and our empirical evidence confirmed the positive effect of the programme on the school children. Noticeably improvement in weights and key nutrients were noted. For instance, our study on utilization of sweet potato (ipomea batatas) in composite flour production, reveals an improvement in the mean and median results of the serum retinol of the respondents after feeding. Our study attributed the observed improved differences to the feeding. This was because the mean population serum retinol before the feeding experiment was above the upper cut-off level for serum retinol. Hence, the food supplied which had composite sweet potato-maize flour as the main ingredient was therefore successful in increasing the serum retinol levels of the subjects.
Thank you for comment Henry Acquah-Graft.
I have read a few examples from other countries on public purchases from family agriculture and I quite liked the case of Ghana. There is a chapter by Professor Roberta Sonnino in the book “The School Food Revolution” which addresses the case of encouraging local production in Ghana. In the following link there is a book review: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2752/175174411X12810842291353?journalCode=rffc20.
Has anyone done an in-depth analysis of public procurement programs and consistency with trade rules?
Public procurement programs that buy from farmers at above the WTO market price and sell to consumers below market price operate similarly to grain reserves. Is this/can this be in violation of WTO rules on public stockholdings, if the Member country does not qualify for the temporary exemption recently negotiated by the United States and India, which exempts grain reserves for food security that were already in place when the agreement was passed.
Does the WTO’s Global Procurement Agreement restrict local procurement initiatives and school feeding programs. Currently, the agreement is plurilateral with 19 parties covering 47 WTO members (the 28 member states of the European Union included are as one party). Most parties are industrialized countries and thus should not apply to most developing countries.
And what about newer plurilateral agreements being negotiated? As is the case with pricing policies, plurilateral trade agreements may impose additional restrictions upon contracting parties. For example, procurement contracts have been included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text, agreed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, and Vietnam in October, 2016. Signatories must give equal treatment to international companies in their domestic procurement processes.
Discussing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being negotiated between the US and the EU, Karen Hansen-Kuhn, the Director of International Strategies at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), points that “both the U.S. and EU, for example, support farm-to-school programs that favor locally produced foods in school lunch programs, even if the cost is somewhat higher.” According to the IATP, this also threatens local food programs, such as the Los Angeles Food Policy Council’s Good Food Purchasing Program, which seeks to get large institutions to pledge to specific food procurement procedures.
Similarly, investment protections in the TTP, the TTIP as well as bilateral investment treaties and bilateral trade agreements could undermine local or national programs to set the conditions for appropriate investments in the production of healthier, more sustainable foods for local markets. Parties to those talks should establish broad exemptions to advance food security and sustainable development.
Is there anyone out there looking more closely at this issue?
Dear Susan Bragdon.
Very interesting your question.
When I started to study these purchases in local agriculture, this was one of the first questions I asked myself. By chance, I saw an article that deals with why this does not violate the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The article is referenced in the text. The article is called: “Laws to require purchase of locally grown food and constitutional limits on state and local government: Suggestions for policymakers and advocates”. Follow the link: http://www.agdevjournal.com/attachments/article/115/JAFSCD_Laws_on_Locally_Grown_Food_Corrected_10-10.pdf. But, it is interesting to see that new discussions about this. Thank you very much.
Dear Edward K Ross.
Thank you very much for the comments.
In the school feeding program in Brazil, a nutrition professional prepares the menu. This is meant to include various food groups.
Even in Brazil, in some regions school feeding is the main complete meal in nutritional groups for children.
Some countries have adopted this model through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).
Dear Armando Fornazier on re reading your re’sume’ I was very interested to see your involvement in agriculture and agronomy because before I had a small farm accident and had to give up farm work in NZ where I was sometimes involved in projects with the main agricultural research station. Then when we went to P.N.G. I had a lot of support from a Dr K Gerlach who was experienced in tropical agriculture and agronomy. Our experiences in PNG convinced me of the importance of understanding the peoples culture if one was to help them to help them selves. Thus from this background I was very interested in the Food and Justice conference because I believe this is one of the most important issues of our time . Therefore I had hoped to see not only economists involved but social scientists agronomist and farmers with practical experience involved Finally congratulations to all those involved and I remember my mother saying to me when I was I child, if at first you don’t succeed try and try again, so when can we try again.
Dear Edward K Ross.
Thank you very much.
The issue of food security should not be merely an economic discussion of supply and demand.
The theme involves people, traditions, medicine, farmers, etc.
In Brazil, although it is well known for its agriculture, there is great inequality between regions and groups of farmers.
That is, even with a large food supply, there are vulnerable people in situations of food insecurity.
Some programs as described in the text are public policies to alleviate problems of food insecurity.