International technical visit to Brazil to learn about school feeding, family farming

Last Updated on Friday, 12 May 2017, 15:21 by Denis Chabrol

Representatives from Guyana and twelve other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean will be in Vitória, Brazil from May 16 to 18, to learn about the Brazilian experience of School Feeding Programmes and purchasing from Family Farming, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a statement.

The visit is an international exchange mission promoted by the Internal Cooperation Programme between the FAO and the government of Brazil.

During the visit, representatives from Guyana, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, Suriname, Bahamas, El Salvador, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Paraguay will get to know schools, food distribution centres, family farming cooperatives and rural lands, as well as participating in a meeting with the Municipal Government of Vitoria to learn about the public policies executed throughout the municipalities in the area of school feeding programmes.

Guyana’s School Feeding Programme

Information from the Ministry of Education website shows that the Government of Guyana commenced its National School Feeding Programme in February, 2010. The Ministry of Education receives support from the Ministry of Local Government and other stakeholders to ensure that this policy initiative of the government is successfully implemented. Currently, the National School Feeding Programme targets All Nursery Schools and All Primary Schools in Grades 1 and 2. The School Feeding Programme was implemented in Regions 1, 2,3,4,5,6,10 and Georgetown. (Regions 7, 8 and 9 are targeted separately). The Programme consists of biscuits and juices, both locally made.

According to Alan Bojanic, FAO’s representative in Brazil, the mission will contribute to strengthen knowledge about the importance of school feeding coupled with the direct purchase of products from family farming. Bojanic, also, noted that the exchange of experiences could contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), signed by the members of the United Nations. “Before we had the goal of reducing hunger and poverty, now we need to eliminate food insecurity, guarantee sustainability, resilience and the good use of natural resources, and this goal permeates various sectors of society and the production chain”, says Bojanic.

This is the first time that the Brazil-FAO International Cooperation Programme will visit Espírito Santo for an international technical mission. “This technical visit is an important strategy for the empowerment for the countries’ national human capacities and broadening the vision of this topic. The National School Feeding Programme (PNAE) is a reference for other countries of the region, for its organizational structure and breadth”, explains Najla Veloso, project regional coordinator.

Najla notes, the countries have constructed a new vision of school feeding programmes, adopting the topic as a social policy under the principle of human right to adequate food, which is implemented with the provision of offering healthy and local food and with actions of food and nutrition education.

The Municipal Government and the Municipal Secretary of Education of Vitoria will be giving support to the organization so that the technical mission can learn about the Brazilian experiences.

Support for strengthening of school feeding programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The project, strengthening of school feeding programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean is executed, since 2009, jointly with the Brazil-FAO International Cooperation Programme, by means of a partnership with the National Fund for Education Development (FNDE) and FAO, with a focus on the right to adequate food starting with strengthening public policies on school feeding programmes.

Currently, 13 countries participate in the region, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Santa Lucia, and Saint Vicent and the Grenadines.

The project was designed with the experiences and lessons learned in Brazil with more than 60 years of execution of PNAE, a programme that provides daily food to more than 42 million students.

To contribute to the development of political policies of school feeding programmes in the region, this regional project of South-South Cooperation works with a series of actions, in these, the technical support to better the quality of programmes, as well as in the institutionalization of public policy through legislation on this subject.