02/07/2013 – Since the creation of PAA, the federal government has acquired more than 3 million tons of family farming products, investing US$2,5 billion, and benefiting more than 190,000 low-income farmers. “Plano Safra” provides additional $ 535 million in resources by 2014.
On Tuesday (2), the Food Acquisition Programme (PAA), coordinated by the Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger (MDS) completed 10 years. During this period, through the program, the federal government has invested US$2,5 billion to buy more than 3 million tons of food produced by family farmers, which benefited more than 190,000 families.
Since its inception, the annual volume of funds invested increased from US$64 million in 2003 to US$434 million in 2012 – an increase of 580%. In June this year, President Dilma Rousseff announced that the PAA will invest US$535 million for the harvest 2013/2014.
The National Secretary for Food and Nutrition Security of MDS, Arnoldo Campos, classifies the program as innovative. “He has an implementation methodology that allows, with the same resource, for the strengthening of agriculture, boosting local economies, the promotion of food security and the enhancement of regional food habits, while strengthening the public food and nutrition equipment.”
PAA works on several fronts. It benefits farmers by guaranteeing the sale of its products, supporting supply for the domestic market, and meets social assistance networks, school and nutrition equipment with food donations. “One of the great challenges of family farming is just marketing. PAA contributes to the solution of this problem not only by direct purchase, but with the impact of this purchase on the local market,” explains Campos.” In many cases, the programme began to mark out the prices, decreasing the degradation that the producer suffered precisely because it has the option to sell their production to the government.”
The Cooperative of Small Ranchers Ibirubá (Coopeagri), in Rio Grande do Sul, sells more than 20 food products in the programme. The main products are colonial rice, wheat flour type 1, cassava, sweet potato, orange and tangerine. Every year, the cooperative produces more than 130 tons of food. Of this total, approximately 80% is allocated to the programme.
“PAA is an important tool for the development of the cooperative and its members, who have a real security programme for marketing throughout the year. Taking into account that about 90% of the members of the cooperative are family farmers, the programme becomes even more important to ensure the diversification of production, thus ensuring the permanence of these small producers in the field”, explains Diego Budke, secretary of Coopeagri.
Besides ensuring market with fair prices, PAA values local food culture. Through it, there was an increase in the variety of food produced by family farmers, encouraging healthy eating with fresher products. There are over 3000 different products acquired, and the main ones are: milk and dairy products (28%), vegetables (16%), fruits (12%), followed by beans, rice, cereals, nuts, cassava, meat, fish , eggs, juices and fruit pulps.
More resources – For the season 2013/2014, the federal government expanded the purchase limits per family, providing more resources to family farmers. Simultaneous Donation modality, the maximum goes from US$2000 to US$2500 per year. If producers are organized into associations and cooperatives, the limit rises from US$2140 to US$2900 per family. And, if more than 50% of households are in the Unified Registry for Social Programmes of the Federal Government, the ceiling for acquisition reaches US$3570.
Today, about 43% of farmers who sell their products to PAA are in the Unified Register. The expectation is that with the new rules, the percentage will increase further, reinforcing actions for overcoming poverty in the country. The new rules also value the production of agroecological and organic foods and products from the sociobiodiversity.
Women – The National Secretary of MDS highlighted the participation of women, which amounts to almost 40%. “The programme seeks productive inclusion, sustainable production and gender equity. And women are participating in many of the products that are marketed in the programme. When we talk about gardens, fruits, breads and biscuits, among others, in many cases women lead these activities. And with PAA, they have the opportunity to market your product and get income.”
(From the Press Department of the Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger)