Home-Grown School Feeding in Brazil and Africa: Competing Frameworks for Success

By Jennifer Rutledge.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

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Using case studies of the home-grown school feeding programs in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Brazil, this paper investigates the puzzle of these different countries creating the same program, but from very different theoretical frameworks. In Brazil, the program is framed as a food sovereignty program, while in the African countries it is framed as a food security program. This paper argues that the difference in program framing is due to the presence or absence of farmer’s organizations tightly connected to the government, the level of a countries’ commitment to the global human rights regime, and the level of influence of international development organizations. Further, this paper argues that those countries which have embraced food sovereignty for their feeding programs are more successful because the food sovereignty framework focuses attention on local, small-scale farmers and individual’s access to food, whereas the food security framework focuses attention on larger agri-business and a countries’ integration into the global economy.

Keywords: Food Sovereignty, Food Security, School Lunch Program, Civil Society, Human Rights, Agricultural Policy

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.15-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 681.788KB).

Jennifer Rutledge

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice-CUNY, New York City, NY, USA

Jennifer Rutledge completed her BA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation was titled “Feeding the Future: The Global Emergence of School Lunch Programs”. Her research and teaching interests are in public policy and comparative politics, with a particular focus on food politics in developing countries.