July 4-12, 2015 | Brazil
PAKISAMA President Ka Rene Cerilla joined a high-level joint Executive-Legislative Study Mission to Brazil from July 4 to 12, 2015 to learn about the Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) Program which largely reduced the Brazil’s hunger, malnutrition, and poverty by supporting local farmers and locally-sourced consumption.
The study visit aims to improve the implementation of the Partnership against Hunger Poverty (PAHP) by incorporating and adapting the best practices from Brazil’s experience.
In December 2013, the Philippines launched the PAHP modelled after Brazil’s Food Acquisition Program (PAA), following the 2013 Study Visit of Secretary Corazon Soliman and Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes of the Departments of Social Work and Development (DSWD) and Agrarian Reform (DAR), respectively. The PAHP program refers to the government purchase of farm products from smallholder farmers and cooperatives for use in feeding programs in day care centers run by local government units.
The innovative PAHP program allows farmers to sell their products to the government at fair prices, and hence empowering local farmers with an enhanced access to market while nourishing families. It has been piloted in the Bicol Region and will be rolled out to the Zamboanga Peninsula and Eastern Visayas Regions. The program is being implemented In partnership with FAO and World Food Program (WFP) with technical assistance from the Brazilian Government.
As farmer sector delegate in the study visit, Ka Rene’s participation brought the perspectives of smallholder family farming organizations. The delegation was led by Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez III (Akbayan Party List), Vice-Chairperson of the House Committee on Human Rights and author of HB 3795, or AN ACT PROVIDING A FRAMEWORK FOR THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE FOOD (or Zero Hunger Bill). The other members in the delegation were: Rep. Maria Leonor Gerona-Robredo (author of HB 6062 or NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY ACT), DAR Undersecretary Rosalina Bistoyong, DSWD Assistant Secretary Camilo Gudmalin, Ms. Fely Domingo-Parcon, Legislative Committee Secretary, and Ms Aurea Miclat-Teves of FIAN-Philippines.
The Study Mission included field visits to study the “supply side” (e.g. smallholder farms) and “demand side” (e.g. food hubs, canteens, public restaurants) of the Zero Hunger program. The delegation also visited the “Chapadinha” Settlement organized with assistance from the National Federation of Workers in Family Farming (FETRAF). Moreover, the delegation held meetings with: CONSEA or the National Council on Food Security and Nutrition where family farmers organizations are given seats in an official capacity, SESAN (National Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition), Ministry of Education, Ministries of Agrarian Development, Agriculture; Landless Workers’ Movement (MST); National Coordinator of Crop Insurance for Family Farming; Brazilian Secretariat of Human Rights; Federal Public Defender, Planning, Budget and Management Ministry.
Brazil is widely regarded as a model in social protection programs. The Philippines’ conditional cash transfer (CCT) program known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps is modelled after Brazil’s Bolsa Familia (Family Grant) that has lifted 36 million Brazilians from poverty since 2003. The PAA, Bolsa Familia and National School Feeding program (PNAE) are part of Brazil’s Zero Hunger Strategy. In 2014, FAO reported that the number of undernourished Brazilians fell by more than 80% in 10 years thereby removing Brazil from the World Hunger Map.