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Structured Demand and Smallholder Farmers in Brazil: the Case of PAA and PNAE

  • Published on March 11, 2022

This study discusses the role played by two Brazilian policies, the Food Acquisition Programme (PAA) and the National School Feeding Programme (PNAE), in creating a structured demand for small farmers producing food crops. The two initiatives combined are believed to be the largest institutional procurement programme in the world that deliberately prioritises purchasing from the most vulnerable of family farmers. These programmes also function as social safety nets that improve food security and guarantee food access for school-aged children and other vulnerable groups.

This review of Brazil´s experience presents the many impacts these policies have on increasing food and nutritional security, expanding agricultural production and boosting rural incomes. The PAA purchases food for stockpiling, price regulation and food assistance for vulnerable groups, while the PNAE invests exclusively in school meals, as a means to promote food security, keep children enrolled and performing in school, and to strengthen smallholder farmers’ agriculture. Despite the lack of evaluation, this study indicates that both programmes can have a powerful economic impact on the lives of smallholder farmers. They also foster the collective organisation of family farmers into associations and cooperatives, and provide the necessary incentives and support to improve the quality of their products.

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