Brasilia, July 06 2011 - During the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Academic Forum held in 2010, researchers have identified the theme of food security as a potential topic for discussion. It was verified the need for a comparative study to examine existing programs and establish possible relevant areas of dialogue between India, Brazil and South Africa.
The study Government Support to Food Security in India, Brazil and South Africa: Elements of Dialogue was led by Darana Souza and Danuta Chmielewska from IPC-IG. Initially reports were undertaken in each country in the period between 1995 and 2000. The objective is to determine which concepts and strategies that guided the main food security programmes and highlight possible points of articulation and cooperation.
By comparing the IBSA countries, we note that:
- There are differences in interpretation of the right to food and consequently the legal apparatus in force in each country;
- Data shows a plurality of indicators and lack of consensus in three cases;
- The perception of food security, nutritional status and food consumption were profoundly analyzed, besides other dimensions;
- The paper highlights how the different stakeholders, especially civil society organizations and different levels of government, participate in policy making processes;
- With regard to food production, two issues are raised: how does smallholder agriculture fit in with food-security policies, and how public funding to food production takes into account environmental issues;
- The study explores major initiatives in different food security contexts, according to budget and scope: Brazil: Bolsa Família Programme, National Programme for Strengthening Family Farming (PRONAF) and National School Feeding Programme (PNAE); South Africa’s IFSS cash transfer programme; India: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), procurement programme regarding mainly food grains for subsidised sales to pre-identified poor families (TPDS), school meals (MDM) and programme to address nutritional care for children and women (ICDS).
The document lists achievements and challenges in food security situation. For example in Brazil there is a reduction in the number of malnourished children (from 4.2% in 1996 to 1.8% in 2006, reduction in perception of food insecurity (35% in 2004 to 30% in 2009), poor families living with less than $ 1.25 / day dropped from 25.6% in 1990 to 4.8% in 2008) and inequality has been reduced (Gini Index 0,594 in 2001 to 0,544 in 2008).
In relation to South Africa, also a reduction in: the perception of hunger (20% in 2002 to 10% in 2007), poverty (national line of 38% in 2000 to 22% in 2008) while maintaining same levels of inequality (Gini Index varies between 0,665 and 0,688 from 1993 to 2008) and malnutrition (underweight children under 5 years stable at 10% for 2 decades).
In India it was noted a reduction in: poverty rates (national line of 45% in 1993/94 to 37% in 2004/05), but rates of malnutrition have remained stable (underweight children under three years around 40%), increased inequality (Gini index of 0,303 in 1993/94 to 0,325 in 2004/05) and chronic hunger (17% in 1995-7 to 21% in 2005-07), and other challenges: internal disparities (rural / urban regions, castes).
In conclusion, the study provides some recommendations for policy dialogue between IBSA countries:
- India has the most worrying situation as regards several aspects of food-security, illustrated by alarming levels of income poverty and malnutrition. We can draw on the experiences of Brazil and South Africa in large food-security strategies/programs using the South African IFSS, Brazilian Hunger Zero and National Food and Nutritional Security Policy;
- Spotlight on Brazil, which had the highest advances in the implementation of programs;
- Provide experience and mechanisms for claiming the right to food (Supreme Court, commissioners and Right to Food Campaign);
- The three countries need to strengthen access to food, since the high rates of poverty in India and South Africa and proven food insecurity in Brazil and South Africa;
- Spotlight on the Indian experience on rights-based approach to food security;
- Possibility to explore the experiences of Cash Transfer Programmes in Brazil and South Africa and its impact on food-security levels;
- Potential knowledge exchange between the school feeding initiatives. Especially in Brazil (PNAE) and South Africa (National School Nutrition Programme -NSNP) to support food production in educational establishments;
To learn more:
Public Support to Food Security in India, Brazil and South Africa: Elements for a Policy Dialogue available at: http://www.ipc-undp.org/pub/IPCWorkingPaper80.pdf
Food Security as a Pathway to Productive Inclusion: Lessons from Brazil and India): http://www.ipc-undp.org/pub/IPCOnePager127.pdf
For further information or request for media interviews please contact:
Mr. Francisco Filho
Ms. Mariana Hoffmann
The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth is a global forum for South-South dialogue on innovative development policies as a result of a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Brazil. Our work as global centre consists of the production and dissemination of comparative studies based on successful inclusive growth public policies in the developing world. Recent focus is given to the Emerging Economies and South-South Cooperation. More information on IPC-IG is available at: http://www.ipc-undp.org/