The Centre of Excellence against Hunger organized a field visit to the new DFID director in Brazil, Fiona Lappin. The purpose of the visit was to present the South-South cooperation work carried out by the Centre of Excellence and how smallholder farmers are integrated to the food supply chain of the National School Feeding Programme.
DFID is the UK Department for International Development. In Brazil, DFID promotes inclusive economic growth and sustainable development. Until 2017, DFID and the Centre of Excellence have partnered in South-South cooperation initiatives in the area of social protection in African countries.
The field visit was a request from DFID to present to the new director successful social protection experiences in Brazil and how these experiences have served as an example for other developing countries to improve their initiatives on social protection and food and nutritional security.
Fiona Lappin was accompanied by DFID senior analyst Thomas Giblin, the deputy director of the Centre of Excellence, Peter Rodrigues, programme officer Mariana Rocha, and technical experts from the government of the Federal District and Emater/DF (Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Enterprise).
The group visited a rural settlement near Brasilia and a smallholder farm that produces strawberries. The visit also included an association of smallholder farmers. Both the association and the producer are suppliers of the school feeding programme. To see the entire school feeding supply chain, the group had the opportunity to visit a rural public school and talk to staff about the smallholder farmers’ contribution to the school feeding programme.
During the visit, the impact of the school feeding programme on smallholder farming was clear. The provision of agricultural products for school feeding works as a social safety net for small-scale farmers. When market prices are low, the school feeding programme is a guarantee of fair prices for these farmers. On the other hand, fresh foods provided to schools by them are a source of nutrition for students.