On March 24, 2015, PAKISAMA organized a forum on “Fighting Hunger through Partnerships: A Forum on Brazil’s Zero Hunger Program, Global and Asian Institutional Purchase, and the Philippines’ Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP)” in Quezon City, Philippines. The forum aims to share experience on Institutional Purchase in Brazil to inspire PAHP participants from government, farmers organizations (FOs) and CSOs to engage in constructive partnership in the conduct of PAHP.
Seventy (70) representatives from various farmers’ federations and CSOs from different regions of the country, and two government agencies involved in building agri-based enterprises attended the forum. It was organized in partnership with Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) and Belgium-based Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires (CSA).
The Departments of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Agriculture (DA) and Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are implementing the PAHP program, an institutional food purchase program which allows local smallholder FOs to provide food to feeding programs of public day care centers. Support services from the DAR and DA help improve farm productivity and enhance farmers’ access to the feeding programs, thereby helping reduce poverty, improve incomes and nourish families. The PAHP was launched in December 2013 in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UN-World Food Program (WFP) and with technical assistance from the Brazilian Government.
The PAHP builds on the success of the Brazilian Government’s Zero Hunger program (Fome Zero) that provides agricultural extension services linked to the nutrition needs of their feeding program. The Zero Hunger strategy consists of institutional food purchase programs which allow farmers to sell their products to government at fair prices. Inside the Zero Hunger program are different forms of assistance for family farmers to help them get better access to those markets, such as rural credit programs, insurance schemes, and technical assistance. These services have stimulated local food production and have increased local food output.
Mr Socrates Banzuela, PAKISAMA’s National Coordinator, provided an overview of the forum. Mr Lawrence Cruz from the DAR and Mr Luis de la Cruz from the DSWD presented highlights of the PAHP. Mr Marek Poznanski (CSA) and Ms Riza Bernabe (AFA) presented their insights on Institutional Purchase: Global and Asian Experiences.
Through video messaging, two resource persons from Brazil shared their involvement in Fome Zero – Mr Marcos Rochinski, Coordinator of FETRAF (National Federation of Family Farming Workers in Brazil) and Ms Maria Emilia Pacheco, President of National Council for Food and Nutritional Security (CONSEA). The Brazilian CSO leaders expressed their personal and their organizations’ availability to further share their experiences with Philippine FOs and Government representatives through exchange visits and access to different resource persons.
Towards the end, the participants recommended the following proposals: (a) Review PAHP to strengthen FOs participation at all levels and phases; (b) Address constraints to FOs’ participation in PAHP’s institutional purchase; (c) Push for a national food policy based on human right to adequate food; and (d) Conduct learning exchanges/study visits between Brazilian and Philippine FOs.