The initiative integrates the Trilateral South-South Cooperation Programme coordinated by the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) in partnership with National Education Development Fund of Brazil (FNDE)and the World Food Programme
Seventeen representatives of the Government of the Republic of Congo were in Brasilia, between April 10 and 14, in order to learn about the National School Feeding Programme (PNAE) implemented by the National Education Development Fund of Brazil (FNDE), within the scope of various policies for family farming and food and nutrition security.
H. E. Ambassador Luiza Lopes, Deputy Director of the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE), launched the start of activities planned for the Study Visit, in a ceremony held on April 10, at the Itamaraty Palace, in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. The initiative is coordinated by ABC in partnership with FNDE and the World Food Programme (WFP) Centre of Excellence against Hunger in Brazil.
H. E. started her speech by making a historical assessment of all the work carried out in building the PNAE programme, which celebrates this year its 68 years of existence. “Now that the PNAE is almost 70 years old,” H. E. stressed, “it is worthwhile remembering that the programme has developed throughout some 20 and more governments, and has continued to evolve qualitatively and quantitatively up to the status it currently enjoys”. H. E. Ambassador Luiza Lopes went on recalling that our Congolese brothers’ interest in knowing more about the PNAE dates back to their visit to Brazil in 2012.
Head of the African delegation and Minister of Social Affairs, Solidarity and Humanitarian Action of Congo, Mrs. Irene Kimbatsa, thanked all for welcoming the delegation and for the agenda including field visits and meetings with the institutions that take part in the PNAE Programme. “The Brazilian authorities have welcomed all of us once again to share knowledge regarding the school feeding programme in Brazil, which will be so very important for Congo.”
President of FNDE, Ms. Fernanda Pacobayhba, highlighted the relevance of the partnership between school food and family farming. “We guarantee not only food at school thanks to the quality products we deliver, we also strengthen the very economy in the municipalities thanks to the programme, since the procurement process has to be made locally.” Ms Pacobayhba reminded our Congolese brothers that the institution FNDE remains at their full disposal in further strengthening ties with Congo while developing the partnership.
Mr. Daniel Balaban, Director of the Centre of Excellence against Hunger under the World Food Programme of the United Nations – WFP in Brazil, stressed that school feeding programmes also have positive impacts on gender and climate-change issues. “The programme needs to ensure its sustainability through the local procurement of varied food staples and products, which later require to follow proper food logistics regarding storage, transportation and distribution,” Mr. Baladan stressed. “The entire process is complex but the results are very positive in the countries where the school feeding programmes is developed, such as Brazil.”
Throughout the week, the delegation got to know the legislation regarding the PNAE Programme in minute details, as well as the dynamics of the school feeding model combining family farming, in which 30 % of food staples and products are purchased directly from local producers. The Congolese also had the opportunity to visit schools benefiting from the Programme in both urban and rural areas of the Federal District, as well as the Local Produce and Foodstuff Distribution Centre (CEASA), and the rural estates of some of the family farmers who provide their produce for consumption in schools.