Next Article in Journal
To Enhance the Credibility of the Green Bond Market through Regulating GBERs: The Case of China
Previous Article in Journal
A Continuum of Protection to Empowerment: The Evolving Legal Landscape of Decision-Making for Children and Adolescents
Previous Article in Special Issue
Implementation of Good Practices in Environmental Licensing Processes
Font Type:
Arial Georgia Verdana
Font Size:
Aa Aa Aa
Line Spacing:
Column Width:

Brazil’s Return to the Hunger Map: An Analysis of Public Policies and Effective Measures for Food Security

Ana Tereza Souza Domingos
Carolina Oliveira Mesquita
Emiliano Lobo de Godoi
2 and
Thiago Augusto Mendes
Law School, Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG), Goiânia 74605-220, Goiás, Brazil
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG), Goiânia 74605-220, Goiás, Brazil
Graduate Program in Technology, Management and Sustainability, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Goiás (IFG), Goiânia 74968-755, Goiás, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Laws 2023, 12(6), 90;
Submission received: 1 September 2023 / Revised: 14 November 2023 / Accepted: 22 November 2023 / Published: 14 December 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law)


The planning and application of public policies in the panorama of the right to adequate food stands out for the development of the food supply of the Brazilian population. However, it is questionable whether these public policies have been effective in contributing to adequate nutrition. The aim of this article is to study the effectiveness of public food security policies in Brazil between 2012 and 2022. Also, urban agriculture is analyzed as an alternative food policy that can be carried out by the population, and contributes to the use of urban space. To understand the country’s food security situation and the effectiveness of public policies in avoiding a scenario of hunger and insecurity, the hypothetical-deductive method and the technique of bibliographical and documentary research are used, together with the theoretical framework in the theory of the cycle of public policies. It is concluded that the public policies developed were gradually weakened, and that between 2019 and 2022, the Brazilian government took measures discouraging the implementation of food policies. Brazil, with disjointed policies, facing the pandemic and an economic crisis, is in a situation of food insecurity and has portions of the population in a situation of hunger.

1. Introduction

Food sovereignty and security are points of concern and attention in Brazil’s political and social development. The country has already faced a scenario of hunger and malnutrition, given that hunger was seen as a supply and production problem and not a violation of a basic right. And since the 2000s, there has been a mobilization and structuring of policies aimed at improving access to food, especially in relation to families living in a situation of hyposufficiency.
The federal executive branch was concerned with creating specific public bodies to structure and direct public food security policies, for example, the Extraordinary Ministry of Food Security and Combating Hunger (MESA, in Portuguese), the National Council for Food and Nutritional Security (CONSEA, in Portuguese) and the Interministerial Chamber of Food and Nutritional Security (CAISAN, in Portuguese) (da Cruz 2021).
Current data on the development of public policies aimed at realizing the right to food come from the construction and structuring of policies, measures and objectives, designed for the long term, and with results that are reaped over the years. The advancement of public policies to implement food security, between the period 2000–2014, led Brazil to be internationally recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for reducing the number of hungry people by half, and removed the country off the hunger map (Nascimento 2019).
The role of the executive branch in the fight against food insecurity depends on the joint efforts of the government and civil society to address its roots and understand the issues that cause Brazil to face a scenario of hunger, which is a complex phenomenon. Food insecurity is directly related to social indicators, such as low income, less education, lack of employment and basic sanitation (Bezerra et al. 2017).
It is also important to highlight that, from 2015 onwards, Brazil began to experience political instability, which resulted in the weakening of public policies related to food insecurity. In 2013, there was already an increase in food insecurity rates, which increased by around 8% per year until 2018. During this period (2015–2018), Brazil had an impeachment of the presidency of the republic, which resulted in instability, and began to dismantle food programs. Also, in 2019, the new president of the republic took unprotective measures in relation to food security, such as the extinction of the National Council for Food and Nutritional Security (CONSEA, in Portuguese) (Sauer and Evangelista 2023).
Therefore, this article studies the measures taken by the Brazilian executive branch to implement food security policies. The main focus is to visualize government measures and the results reflected in the population, especially for the most vulnerable classes. Also, this article evaluates alternative measures for access to food, implemented in cities, as a way of guaranteeing food with greater variety and quality.
In this context, the objective of this article is to study and evaluate the effectiveness of public policies for food security in Brazil, between the years 2012 and 2022. This study has its basis in the theory of the public policy cycle. To develop the study, an analysis in three-year periods takes place, first between 2012 and 2015, then between 2016 and 2019, and finally, between 2019 and 2021; followed by an analysis on the development of peri-urban and urban agriculture as a possible measure and the development of public policies to achieve good levels of food security.
Therefore, this article aims to answer the following research question: have public policies been effective in contributing to food security in Brazil?

2. The Planning and Development of National Food Security Plans (2012–2015 and 2016–2019)

The planning, development and execution of a public policy is carried out through a sequence of acts that enable the practice and achievement of the proposed objectives (de Martino Jannuzzi 2011).
Firstly, it is necessary to understand the government choices that can impact the lives of citizens, and that these involve conflicts between different interests of groups that work with the government, as well as external groups (Carlos et al. 2021). Thus, it is important to understand public policies as social constructions, with the relevant participation of different spheres and protagonists, from the civil and political societies (Gasparelo et al. 2018).
That said, the need to understand the public policy cycle stands out, which is important for its planning and practice. This cycle starts with a stage of defining the political agenda, which corresponds to the recognition of a social issue, viewing it as a political problem that requires government action. In sequence, in a new stage, the formulation of programs and actions take place, bringing possible solutions to deal with the situation previously recognized. Subsequently, it is necessary to make decisions regarding the measures to be adopted, and whether there will be effective actions. The fourth stage deals with the implementation of the public policy created, with the allocation of resources and the development of previously thought-out programs.
Finally, in the public policy cycle, it is necessary to analyze whether the commitment dedicated to implementing the public policy has brought results in solving the problem initially identified (de Martino Jannuzzi 2011). From this perspective of implementing public policies and the theory regarding their planning, the analysis of National Food Security Plans takes place, aiming to understand whether they were successful in guaranteeing food security in the country between 2016 and 2019.
Therefore, the importance of guaranteeing food security and access to the right to food is emphasized through solid public policies. When a public policy is structured with the purpose of achieving food security, it must be based on providing food assistance to the population, increasing access to food and promoting food education aiming to ensure adequate nutrition (Silva et al. 2018).
In this context, it is important to mention the National Food Security Plans (PLANSAN) which were organized in three-year periods, between 2012 and 2015 and later between 2016 and 2019. The first PLANSAN was created in 2011 and scheduled to be implemented over the following three years. It was designed with 10 different challenges aiming to eradicate extreme poverty and severe food insecurity, in order to promote sustainable family production and strengthen the right to adequate food (Silva et al. 2018).
The challenges formulated in the I PLANSAN were broken down into eight guidelines, and each of those presented objectives, goals and initiatives, which were outlined after debates held within the scope of the government, civil society and the National Council for Food and Nutritional Security (CONSEA) (CAISAN 2011). It was necessary to utilize an intersectoral approach of public differences to fulfill the outlined plan and meet the projected expenses, which required a strong commitment from the government and civil society (Guimarães and Silva 2020).
This intersectoral aspect was manifested not only between the spheres of government and society in order to comply with the budget, but there was also an integration between the promotion of adequate nutrition and health actions, for example, with the conditions to participate in the Programa Bolsa Família (PBF) (Family Allowance Program) (CAISAN 2015).
Furthermore, another factor that contributed to promoting access to food was the policies aimed at increasing family income, such as the net gain of the minimum wage and the strengthening of the Cadastro Unico (CadÚnico) (Single Registration System) for federal government social programs. The registration and mapping of families most vulnerable to hunger removed them from invisibility and included them in policies that facilitated access to food (CAISAN 2015).
Between January of 2011 and January of 2013, 22.1 million people who were beneficiaries of the PBF overcame poverty, as shown in Figure 1, prepared by the Ministry of Finance through data provided by CadÚnico and the PBF payroll (CAISAN 2013).
Thus, a set of different social programs contributed to an increase in family income, and helped them to achieve greater purchasing power to support their families (Figure 1). During this period, the work of CadÚnico was essential for social programs to reach specific groups, such as indigenous people, the quilombolas community, riverside dwellers, family farmers and agrarian reform supporters, among other minorities (CAISAN 2013).
In relation to Figure 1, two Brazilian social programs are mentioned, namely Brazil without Misery and Caring Brazil.
Brazil without Misery is a social program of the Brazilian federal government, created in 2011, with the objective of reducing the situation of extreme poverty of 16.2 million people who lived on less than USD 15 per person per month. The Brazil without Misery program consists of expanding the previous program to combat poverty in Brazil, known as Family Allowance. The program is based on three pillars: income guarantee, for immediate relief from extreme poverty; access to public services, aiming to improve the education, health and citizenship conditions of families; and productive inclusion (Secretaria de Relações Institucionais 2015).
With the intention of increasing access for the low-income population to public daycare centers, the Caring Brazil program was created, which encourages municipalities to increase the number of places and improve service, transferring more federal resources to city halls for each place occupied by a child beneficiary of Family Allowance.
The Caring Brazil program consisted of the automatic transfer of financial resources to cover expenses with maintenance and development of early childhood education, contribute to comprehensive care, food and nutritional security actions, in addition to guaranteeing the child’s access to and permanence in early childhood education. The resources are intended for children aged 0 to 48 months, enrolled in public daycare centers or those affiliated with public authorities, whose families are beneficiaries of the Family Allowance program (Ministério da Educação 2023).
At the end of the period stipulated for the execution of the I PLANSAN, an investigation was carried out to understand the progress made and to identify the biggest challenges and points that could be improved in the future. It was found that due to the plan presenting a large number of goals and objectives, it made it difficult to monitor its actions (Silva et al. 2018).
Finally, CAISAN demonstrated at the end of the period adopted for I PLANSAN that there was an evolution in the different guidelines addressed to achieve food security, and points that should be better structured were evaluated (CAISAN 2015).
The I PLANSAN left positive results but with lessons learned and observations to be made for the planning of the II PLANSAN, in order to develop a plan with achievable goals over a four-year period, and with the capacity for monitoring the vulnerabilities of minorities. The II PLANSAN (2016–2019) was then structured into nine challenges, giving emphasis to one macro challenge: “promotion of healthy and sustainable food systems” (Silva et al. 2018).
With the new administrations of the federal government, there were different monitoring practices and evaluation methods of food security measures, and unlike I PLANSAN, in II PLANSAN there was no elaboration and publication regarding the results obtained at the end of the period established for the execution of the plan. The last publication carried out by CAISAN was released in November 2018, with a mapping of food insecurity (CAISAN 2018).
Although a review of the II PLANSAN was carried out in 2018, CAISAN has not yet analyzed the results and execution of the plan during the period of 2016 to 2019. In January of 2019, CONSEA was extinguished along with other councils. Some of the functions previously assigned to CONSEA were absorbed by the Ministry of Citizenship, the ministry which CAISAN is also under; however, measures for planning a III PLANSAN have not yet been observed (Oliveira et al. 2022).
The last document published by CAISAN with the Ministry of Citizenship that allows for an analysis of food security policies addresses the mapping of food insecurity based on CadÚnico and the National Food and Nutrition Surveillance System (SISVAN, in Portuguese Sistema Nacional de Vigilância Alimentar e Nutricional) and the Indigenous Health Care Information System (SIASI, in Portuguese Sistema de Informação da Atenção à Saúde Indígena) (CAISAN 2018) previously mentioned.
In 2018, there was no longer a publication of explanatory statements for evaluating CONSEA’s policies, impacted by the institutional crisis in the Executive Branch, and with budget cuts in food security programs. In 2019, the neoliberal trend was reinforced, with the extinction of CONSEA, evaluations of previously developed projects were no longer published (Oliveira et al. 2022).

3. Brazil’s Return to the Hunger Map (2019–2021) and Food Security in Urban Spaces

In January 2019, Provisional Measure No. 870 was signed, among other changes; this Provisional Measure (PM) removed CONSEA from the structure of the Federal Executive Branch. The extinction of CONSEA represents a weakening of a possible dialogue between the government and civil society in relation to public policies aimed at combating food insecurity (Boas and Soares 2019).
CONSEA’s journey demonstrated important achievements for society, such as the inclusion of the right to food in the Federal Constitution, established the parameters for the elaboration of PLANSAN, and other programs, for example, the National School Meal Program (PNAE, National Food Program School Meals) and ensured that 30% of the program’s federal budget was allocated to the purchase of food from family farming: the conception of the Acquisition Program (Recine et al. 2020).
Although the extinction of CONSEA made it difficult to execute and organize the public policy agenda aimed at food security, society continued to articulate proposals to face emerging situations (Souza et al. 2021).
The political measures taken in 2019 in relation to combating hunger and maintaining food security reflected in the social results over the following years, as, gradually, the administrative bodies of the Executive Branch related to food security started being reallocated (da Cruz 2021).
The deconstruction and reduction in strategies aimed at guaranteeing the right to food led to crises resulting from the food system developed in the country. The food system is an extensive network made up of different parties, and it is responsible for the production, storage, distribution and commercialization of food, resulting in the subsistence of the population (ONU 2021). In Brazil, many families, especially low-income families, need public policies to access food (da Cruz 2021).
As a result, Brazil started 2020 without a program focused on food security. Furthermore, in the first quarter of that year, the COVID-19 pandemic began, which deteriorated the functioning of the food system and the supply of food in households, especially for the most vulnerable families (Grebmer et al. 2020).
In light of this, the impact of the coronavirus generated a significant increase in the number of people facing food insecurity in Brazil, as the pandemic negatively impacted the economic crisis that the country was already facing (de Freitas 2020).
The PENSSAN Network (National Research Network on Food Sovereignty and Security) and other Brazilian organizations carried out research and documented the situation of food insecurity with the emergence of the pandemic in 2020 (PENSSAN Network 2021). Based on information collected from 12,745 households, in all units of the Brazilian federation, in urban and rural regions, data were collected between November 2021 and April 2022 in order to verify the situation of hunger and access to food in the country, resulting in a “National Survey on Food Insecurity in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Brazil” (PENSSAN Network 2022).
Considering the households that participated in the survey, the results show that 41.3% of them were in a food security situation, and 28% faced uncertainty regarding access to food and had compromised food quality. Food insecurity was verified in 30.1% of households, of which 15.5% were facing hunger, with severe food insecurity (Figure 2). Furthermore, it is relevant to highlight that levels of food insecurity are higher in rural areas, compared to urban areas, as shown in Figure 2 (PENSSAN Network 2022).
The result of greater insecurity among households located in rural areas comes from different socioeconomic aspects. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted small rural producers in several dimensions. This social group had to face issues related to health, production, commercialization and forms of communication, which affect the final income result (Futemma et al. 2021).
Furthermore, groups of small rural producers from the countryside of Pará, Amazonas, and São Paulo, pointed out that the public policies of the National School Feeding Program (PNAE, in Portuguese Programa Nacional de Alimentação Escolar), Food Acquisition Program (PAA, in Portuguese Programa de Aquisição de Alimentos) and National Program for Strengthening Family Farming (Pronaf, in Portuguese Programa Nacional de Fortalecimento da Agricultura Familiar) were precarious during the pandemic and failed to assist the small-scale rural production chain in this period of vulnerability. The greatest means of collaboration came from collective actions carried out through social media channels, associations and cooperatives (Futemma et al. 2021).
On the other hand, to ensure access to food, the Brazilian federal government instituted the Emergency Basic Income (Law No. 13,982/2020). This financial aid was destined for families that did not have formal jobs and had a household income of up to three minimum wages, considering that family members could not be receiving other social assistance benefits (Komatsu and Menezes-Filho 2020).
The Emergency Basic Income program had its main impacts on social classes that had a lower income, especially the most vulnerable and characterized by informality. Furthermore, this public policy contributed to positive impacts in the job market and job creation, which ultimately also result in greater tax collection from the government. Thus, although the policy’s initial focus was on mitigating the decrease in family income during the pandemic, there was a reduction in the effects of the pandemic on the economy entirely (Cardoso et al. 2021).
According to data provided by the Ministry of Citizenship, emergency aid was made available to more than 65 million Brazilians, which reveals the great social inequality experienced in the country at that time. The Emergency Basic Income helped families to experience a less pronounced drop in their income during the pandemic (Santos and de Oliveira 2020).
However, it was observed that the measures taken during the pandemic were always aimed at immediate consumption, without interfering in the production chain. Furthermore, the measures implemented did not take into account the difficulties faced by different social groups, in order to ensure that specific nutritional needs were met, disregarding issues such as gender, ethnicity and social class (Gurgel et al. 2020).
The public policies of PNAE, PAA, Pronaf and Emergency Basic Income were important to maintain a certain level of food distribution among the population. However, it is still necessary to consider the population diversity and territorial dimension of Brazil when planning and executing public policies (Gurgel et al. 2020). What can be observed is that the public policies implemented during the pandemic were largely concentrated by the federal government, and that there was an ineffective dialogue between public agents and civil society when creating effective measures to reach a more vulnerable population, such as families that do not have access to internet, transportation systems and bank accounts (Santos and de Oliveira 2020).
Thus, with the extinction of CONSEA, and the weakening of public food policies, society suffered from an increase in the value of food in the basic food basket. The Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (DIEESE) carries out studies on the values of the basic food basket in the country, and estimates a 45% increase in the basic food basket in Brazilian cities, over the years 2016 to 2022 (Riccieri et al. 2023).
Brazil presented in 2022, in accordance with the survey carried out by the PENSSAN Network, around 28% of households in a situation of mild food insecurity, 15.2% with moderate food insecurity and 15.5% with severe food insecurity. The north and northeast regions of the country presented a greater occurrence of families who are vulnerable to hunger, while the south and southeast regions presented a greater amount of food security. The results and percentages of food insecurity show that the decrease in family income, unemployment, difficulty in commercializing goods and inaccessibility to public policies were factors that caused an increase in the situation of food insecurity (PENSSAN Network 2022).
With the change in the political scenario of the Brazilian federal government, the president who took power in 2023 determined the reinstallation of CONSEA. At the moment, there is a concern about taking emergency measures to combat hunger. Also, the need for a policy to supply food stocks was highlighted, considering the roots of inequalities in Brazil and valuing family farming and agroecology (Recine 2023).
Furthermore, there has already been a call to organize the sixth National Food and Nutritional Security Conference, which would have taken place in November 2019. This conference will be responsible for preparing the third National Food and Nutritional Security Plan (in Portuguese, 3º Plano Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional—PLANSAN) (Recine 2023).

4. Urban Agriculture as a Perspective for Food Security and the Right to the City

In the last five years, the United Nations in its studies related to food and agriculture published that there are an alarming number of people who live in hunger. It is estimated that, worldwide, there are more than two billion people in a situation of food security. In general, the lack of accessibility and availability of quality food is concentrated in urban areas. Under this context, the initiative and study for the implementation and practice of urban and peri-urban agriculture (AUP, in Portuguese Agricultura Urbana e Periurbana) as a sustainable alternative and as a strategy for combating hunger and supplying food for the urban population are growing (Curan and Marques 2021).
Urban agriculture is an activity carried out in the city in its interior (intra-urban) or border (peri-urban), in such a way that a variety of products are grown that can be edible or not, and that makes use of city elements, such as labor, water and organic waste, and that contributes to generating local income, modifying the urban landscape and strengthening food security (Batitucci et al. 2019).
The development of urban and peri-urban agriculture as a public policy is in line with the reasoning elaborated by Lefevbre regarding the right to the city. The right to the city is a right that fights to defend a way of living where equality predominates, and which expresses the overlap of human needs over the interests of capitalism (Garcez et al. 2023). The author argues that urban life is permeated by mediations between the city, the countryside and nature. In this, there is a generalized confusion between the countryside and the city; the city that absorbs the countryside and the countryside that gets lost in the middle of it. However, the author also highlights that “urbanity-rurality” increases over time, which presupposes the invention of new urban forms, and social and political forms that create a renewed urban space must be sought (Lefebvre 2006). Furthermore, from the perspective of the right to the city, the urban area can be seen as a space to fight back against the subordination of lives in relation to the exchange value of capital. This way, the city is viewed as a space for use, adding value to it. Thus, different social classes can take advantage of urban space (de Lima et al. 2019).
Therefore, when reflecting about the marginalization of financially less favored social classes, which are far removed from centrality, a place of attraction for everyone, the right to the city, associated with AUP, can be a measure of inclusion and social insertion (Sagae 2020). The aim of visualizing the right to the city combined with urban agriculture arises from the understanding that this theory brings about a collective practice in the urbanization process, in a way that demands action not only from the public authorities, but also from civil society. Thus, it is possible to consider the creation of new public spaces or renovate existing ones, for the implementation of public policies (Oliveira and Silva 2020).
The development of AUP is directly linked to the demographic and economic growth of cities. This contributes to the proposal for reconfiguring public spaces and land use (Ribeiro et al. 2015). In Brazil, urban agriculture was inserted into the political agenda through the Zero Hunger Program, as a measure to ensure access to adequate food, and as an alternative to developing sustainable relationships within the urban space (Batitucci et al. 2019).
The investment and promotion for the expansion of urban agriculture arises from its potential to integrate areas for public health, with locally produced food and the increase in green areas. In addition, the sustainable practice of food production without the use of chemicals is expanded, which benefits the worker, the environment and the consumer (Maas et al. 2020).
From this perspective, in line with the quest to promote adequate nutrition in urban spaces, it is important to consider the multidimensionality of the agricultural activity, without it being limited to a production point of view. AUP seeks to value people, their experiences and knowledge, without imposing methods. In this way, it is possible to encourage contact with the natural environment and community experience (Batitucci et al. 2019).
The practice of having AUP to stimulate social experiences was applied in Basic Health Units in the municipality of Embu das Artes in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. The study was carried out as part of the project “Urban Agriculture, Health Promotion and Food and Nutritional Security in the municipality of Embu das Artes” and sought to understand the meaning attributed by the participants to the experiences they had in the community gardens and the relationship between this and health promotion (Costa et al. 2015).
Those involved in the project, in the management of the urban gardens, reported that the practice of caring for the gardens promoted mental well-being, and they also reduced a sedentary lifestyle, due to the physical effort involved. Furthermore, they highlighted that there was a reinforcement of community action, the development of personal skills, autonomy and empowerment. The majority of participants demonstrated satisfaction with the results of the project and the harvesting of food from the gardens, with a greater sense of belonging (Costa et al. 2015).
In the city of São Paulo, in 2011, the Urban Gardeners (in Portuguese, Hortelões Urbanos) group started an effort to awaken an activist force for food production and the practice of urban agriculture in public spaces. The group organized itself informally, through social media, but always with the objective of exchanging experiences about food production on a domestic or community scale. In 2012, the first community garden with an activist nature was implemented, in a public square, in the west zone of the city. And in 2015, a municipal law on the participatory management of squares in the municipality was approved, the first legal protection given to urban gardens. The social group that promoted the development of vegetable gardens in São Paulo took on a greater proportion and in 2018 the União de Hortas Comunitárias de São Paulo (UHCSP) (Union of Community Gardens of São Paulo) was formed (Nagib 2020). Currently, the UHCSP has a total of 19 documented gardens, with published addresses and pre-defined times for the conduction of joint efforts. The information is available on the UHCSP Facebook page.
The organization of urban gardens in the city of São Paulo is the result of citizen engagement. The gardens participating in the UHCSP do not originate from an official urban project, but rather from collective networks carried out by ordinary citizens. Interested citizens themselves organized workshops, some brought experiences from cities abroad and established themselves as an online information exchange network. Thus, a movement to re-naturalize the city and reconnect its residents with nature can be observed, with the desire to live in a more environmentally balanced space (Nagib 2020).
The development of AUP can be seen as a social and economic alternative to issues of hunger. Agriculture in urban spaces makes it easier to bring food production closer to the consumer market and encourages new ways of distributing and selling food. This makes it easier for farmers to know the demands and work in a way to deliver a good product with a differentiated market value (Curan and Marques 2021).
Furthermore, AUP is important when it comes to environmental issues. Planting different species in urban gardens contributes to the cycling of nutrients in the land. The water used by the population can be treated in city treatment plants and used to irrigate vegetable gardens, and the sediments can be used as fertilizers. The infiltration of water into the ground contributes to the replenishment of underground waters. In relation to air, green spaces within the city help to maintain the local microclimate and reduce the effects of heat islands and improve air quality (Curan and Marques 2021).
However, even given the environmental and social benefits and greater quality of food for the population that AUP can provide, it must be recognized that this activity and project requires a certain structure and technique for its implementation. This infrastructure can inhibit the consolidation of AUP and is related to public policies and projects proposed by municipal administrative management that are not always continuous or long-lasting. Public urban gardens need access to quality water, acquisition of seeds, equipment for food processing and storage (Zaar 2015).
The implementation of AUP and its exercise as a public policy capable of generating changes in the city and in the lives of the population need to be in accordance with the public management planning designed for the city. Thus, it visualizes the need to guarantee the right to the city as a way of implementing and carrying out these public policies. This is because, the right to the city, from the perspective of fundamental rights, is identified with the right to housing, the right to enjoy public spaces and against the commodification of common use goods (Oliveira and Silva 2020).
Thus, AUP is perceived to be in accordance with the right to the city in the sense of seeking joint action between the public administration and citizens. The ultimate goal is to achieve a city with quality public spaces, with greater political participation, social inclusion and ensuring access to livelihoods with an inclusive economy (Saule 2016).

5. Conclusions

Public policies implemented in the country require planning to make it possible to achieve positive results for society and a good use of public resources. The proposal for a public policy comes from identifying a problem, formulating alternatives, making decisions, implementing measures and subsequently evaluating what was implemented. It was following this reasoning that the I PLANSAN was developed and subsequently the II PLANSAN.
Both plans outlined challenges and goals to be achieved over four years, which would allow for study and adjustments over a slightly longer period of time. The I PLANSAN was carried out and served as a learning experience for taking measures and possible improvements to be made in the plan that would succeed it. The II PLANSAN was developed with the aim of having clearer goals and to reach more vulnerable social groups in relation to food security.
The I PLANSAN, associated with previously broken public policies, such as the Bolsa Família Program and CadÚnico, contributed to controlling the social groups most in need of assistance, removing these groups from invisibility and helping to ensure that their basic needs were met. However, it was also observed that drawing up a very broad plan with many goals is unfavorable for monitoring the actions carried out, concluding that it is important to set more practical and objective goals.
The II PLANSAN was developed in order to have clearer targets and to reach more vulnerable social groups in terms of food security. The II PLANSAN has already been prepared with more practical goals, to be achieved over a period of four years, with the aim of monitoring vulnerable groups that were targets of the plan’s measures. However, in the execution of the II PLANSAN, the consequences of Brazil’s political reality are already observed. The last announcement about the execution of the II PLANSAN was made in November 2018.
Furthermore, shortly afterwards, still in 2019, the federal government adopted the measure of extinguishing CONSEA, the organization responsible for conducting document analysis and interventions regarding food security in the country. This measure made it difficult to disseminate content and data regarding the topic of access to food by the Brazilian population, and reduced society’s participation in decision-making processes regarding the planning of public policies. Thus, it can be seen that the Brazilian government chose not to monitor food access measures. This contributed to the invisibility of vulnerable groups facing hunger and food insecurity. It also makes it difficult for the population to access information and demand better government actions.
Subsequently, Brazil suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic, which worsened the socioeconomic situation. The Brazilian government, in 2020, was structurally unprepared to deal with the isolation situation. The economy had less turnover; a large part of the population was unemployed. The executive branch did not adopt sufficient measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus and so that people did not suffer from the loss of purchasing power. Measures were only adopted that granted low-income people a small amount of cash assistance. The result was a large number of deaths in Brazil, economic crisis, high inflation and consequently an increase in the number of people experiencing food insecurity. Thus, it was possible to observe that the political positions of the different presidents of the republic who took over the government were directly reflected in the decisions to implement policies aimed at food security. The data reported in this article demonstrate that in order to implement effective policies, it is important to have realistic planning, approaching the social groups targeted by political measures and monitoring the measures that have been ordered.
As an alternative to food insecurity, this article focuses on studying public policies that develop urban and peri-urban agriculture, focusing on public policy in a space where the majority of the Brazilian population is located: the cities. Urban agriculture proved to be a viable public measure as it is easily managed by the population, with returns for them. The use of urban public space for planting vegetables brings a social function to this environment, and makes quality food accessible, in accordance with the constitution. Also, it has proved to be a measure that can assist not only in the right to food, but also in the quality of life, and in the planning of urban space in order to contribute to inclusion and social coexistence.
Thus, it is possible to affirm that the executive branch’s political positions and choices, within the period from 2012 to 2021, were not effective in guaranteeing food security in the country. Over the years, the institutions responsible for organizing, applying and monitoring public policies for food security have been weakened, receiving less support and attention from the government. The result was a lack of data that mapped the needs and reality of the population. As a result, a pandemic situation arrived in Brazil, with a government that was not prepared to support the vulnerable population in terms of health, hunger and financial difficulties. In conclusion, the Brazilian government has challenges in helping the vulnerable population to gain greater access to food in good quality and quantity. The reorganization of CONSEA demonstrates concern and attention to this problem. The next few years will be about readjusting public food policies and implementing measures that are effective to once again remove the country from the hunger map.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, A.T.S.D., C.O.M. and E.L.d.G.; methodology, A.T.S.D., C.O.M. and E.L.d.G.; formal analysis, A.T.S.D., C.O.M., E.L.d.G. and T.A.M.; investigation, A.T.S.D., C.O.M. and E.L.d.G.; resources, E.L.d.G.; data curation, A.T.S.D., C.O.M., E.L.d.G. and T.A.M.; writing—original draft preparation, A.T.S.D., C.O.M., E.L.d.G. and T.A.M.; writing—review and editing, E.L.d.G. and T.A.M.; visualization, E.L.d.G. and T.A.M.; supervision, E.L.d.G. and T.A.M.; project administration, E.L.d.G.; funding acquisition, T.A.M. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Data are contained within the article.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Batitucci, Thayza De Oliveira, Erika Cortines, Fábio Souto Almeida, and Ângela Alves de Almeida. 2019. A Agricultura em ecossistemas urbanos: Um passo para a sustentabilidade das cidades. Ambiente & Sociedade 22: e02773. [Google Scholar]
  2. Bezerra, Thaíse Alves, Ricardo Alves de Olinda, and Dixis Figueroa Pedraza. 2017. Insegurança alimentar no Brasil segundo diferentes cenários sociodemográficos. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva 22: 637–51. [Google Scholar]
  3. Boas, Regina Vera Villas, and Durcelania da Silva Soares. 2019. O fechamento do Conselho Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional desafiando o Direito Fundamental Social à Alimentação (Adequada) e dificultando a efetividade da inclusão de vulneráveis socioeconômicos. Revista Jurídica Direito & Paz 41: 23. [Google Scholar]
  4. CAISAN (Câmara Interministerial de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional). 2011. Plano Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional: 2012/2015. Brasília: Ministério do Desenvolvimento e Assistência Social, Família e Combate à Fome, Secretaria-Executiva da CAISAN. [Google Scholar]
  5. CAISAN (Câmara Interministerial de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional). 2013. Balanço das Ações do plano Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional—PLANSAN 2012–2015. Brasília: Ministério do Desenvolvimento e Assistência Social, Família e Combate à Fome, Secretaria-Executiva da CAISAN. [Google Scholar]
  6. CAISAN (Câmara Interministerial de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional). 2015. Mapeamento da Insegurança Alimentar e Nutricional com foco na Desnutrição a partir da análise do Cadastro Único, do Sistema Nacional de Vigilância Alimentar e Nutricional (SISVAN) e do Sistema de Informação da Atenção à Saúde Indígena (SIASI). Brasília: Ministério do Desenvolvimento e Assistência Social, Família e Combate à Fome, Secretaria-Executiva da CAISAN. [Google Scholar]
  7. CAISAN (Câmara Interministerial de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional). 2018. Mapeamento da Insegurança Alimentar e Nutricional com foco na Desnutrição a partir da análise do Cadastro Único, do Sistema Nacional de Vigilância Alimentar e Nutricional (SISVAN) e do Sistema de Informação da Atenção à Saúde Indígena (SIASI) 2016. Ministério do Desenvolvimento e Assistência Social, Família e Combate à Fome. Brasília: Secretaria-Executiva da CAISAN. [Google Scholar]
  8. Cardoso, Débora Freire, Edson Domingues, Aline Magalhães, Thiago Simonato, and Diego Miyajima. 2021. Pandemia de COVID-19 e famílias: Impactos da crise e da renda básica emergencial. Repositório IPEA. [Google Scholar]
  9. Carlos, Euzeneia, Monika Dowbor, and Maria do Carmo Albuquerque. 2021. Efeitos de Movimentos Sociais No Ciclo de Políticas Públicas. Rio de Janeiro: Caderno CRH, p. 34. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  10. Costa, Christiane Gasparini Araújo, Mariana Tarricone Garcia, Silvana Maria Ribeiro, Marcia Fernanda de Sousa Salandini, and Cláudia Maria Bógus. 2015. Hortas comunitárias como atividade promotora de saúde: Uma experiência em Unidades Básicas de Saúde. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva 20. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  11. Curan, Roberta Moraes, and Paulo Eduardo Moruzzi Marques. 2021. Multifuncionalidade da agricultura urbana e periurbana: Uma revisão sistemática. Estudos Avançados 35: 209–24. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  12. da Cruz, Samyra Rodrigues. 2021. Uma análise sobre o cenário da fome no Brasil em tempos de pandemia do COVID-19. Pensata: Revista dos Alunos do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Sociais da UNIFESP 9. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  13. de Freitas, Gabriele Carvalho. 2020. Agravamento da fome: COVID-19 e suas consequências. Site do Observatório História e Saúde—COC/Fiocruz. Available online: (accessed on 15 August 2023).
  14. de Lima, Caren Freitas, Baptista Silvia, Arruda Susana, and Amancio Cristhiane. 2019. A rede carioca de agricultura urbana e o direito à cidade. CAMPO-TERRITÓRIO: Revista de Geografia Agrária 14: 313–37. [Google Scholar]
  15. de Martino Jannuzzi, Paulo. 2011. Avaliação de programas sociais no Brasil: Repensando práticas e metodologias das pesquisas avaliativas. Planejamento e Políticas Públicas 36. Available online: (accessed on 15 August 2023).
  16. Futemma, Celia, Daiana Carolina Monteiro Tourne, Francisco Acicley Vasconcelos Andrade, Nathália Moreira dos Santos, Gabriela Silva Santa Rosa Macedo, and Marina Eduarte Pereira. 2021. A pandemia da COVID-19 e os pequenos produtores rurais: Superar ou sucumbir? Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas 16. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  17. Garcez, Ana Luisa Alves, Marcus Vinicius Cavalcanti, Clebson Feitosa, Nathan Bastos, and Cavalcanti da Costa. 2023. Direito a cidade contradições acerca da realidade urbana. Revista Valore 6. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  18. Gasparelo, Rayane Regina Scheidt, Débora Cristina Jeffrey, and Marisa Schneckenberg. 2018. Análise de políticas educacionais: A abordagem do ciclo de políticas e as contribuições de Pierre Bourdieu. EccoS–Revista Científica 47: 237–52. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  19. Grebmer, Klaus von, Jill Bernstein, Miriam Wiemers, Keshia Acheampong, Asja Hanano, Brona Higgins, Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair, Connell Foley, Seth Gitter, Kierstin Ekstrom, and et al. 2020. Indice Global da Fome: Uma Década Até “Fome Zero”. Dublin: Welt Hunger Hilfe. [Google Scholar]
  20. Guimarães, Lívia Marília Barbosa, and Sidney Jard da Silva. 2020. I Plano Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional e o Bolsa Família em perspectiva intersetorial. Revista Serviço Social e Sociedade 137: 74–94. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  21. Gurgel, Aline do Monte, Carla Caroline Silva dos Santos, Kelly Poliany de Souza Alves, Juciany Medeiros de Araújo, and Vanessa Sá Leal. 2020. Estratégias governamentais para a garantia do direito humano à alimentação adequada e saudável no enfrentamento à pandemia de COVID-19 no Brasil. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva 25: 4945–56. [Google Scholar]
  22. Komatsu, Bruno Kawaoka, and Naercio Menezes-Filho. 2020. Simulações de impactos da COVID-19 e da Renda Básica Emergencial sobre o desemprego, renda, pobreza e desigualdade. Policy Paper 43. Available online: (accessed on 15 August 2023).
  23. Lefebvre, Henri. 2006. O direito à cidade. Translated by Rubens Eduardo Frias. São Paulo: Centauro. [Google Scholar]
  24. Maas, Larissa, Rosane Malvestiti, and Leila Amaral Gontijo. 2020. O reflexo da ausência de políticas de incentivo à agricultura urbana orgânica: Um estudo de caso em duas cidades no Brasil. Cadernos de Saúde Pública 36: e00134319. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  25. Ministério da Educação. 2023. Caring Brazil. Available online: (accessed on 14 November 2023).
  26. Nagib, Gustavo. 2020. O espaço da agricultura urbana como ativismo: Alternativas e contradições em Paris e São Paulo. Tese (Doutorado em Geografia Humana)—Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas. São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo. [Google Scholar]
  27. Nascimento, Amália Leonel. 2019. Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional no Brasil: Um conceito em constante disputa na construção de Políticas Públicas. In II WORK SHOP—WEAA, Consumo, Mercado e Ação Pública. Porto Alegre: Available online: (accessed on 15 August 2023).
  28. Oliveira, Amanda da Silva Bastos, Juliana Casemiro, Ana Laura Brandão, and Alessandra Maria Silva Pinto. 2022. Monitoramento e avaliação da segurança alimentar e nutricional: Um olhar sobre as publicações oficiais. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva 27: 631–40. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  29. Oliveira, Fabiano Melo Gonçalves de, and Manoel Lemes da Silva. 2020. Do direito à cidade ao direito dos lugares. Urbe. Revista Brasileira de Gestão Urbana 12: e20190180. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  30. Organização das Nações Unidas. 2021. Transformando Nosso Mundo: A Agenda 2030 para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável. Objetivos de desenvolvimento Sustentável. Organização das Nações Unidas. Brasil. Available online: (accessed on 15 August 2023).
  31. PENSSAN Network. 2021. Inquérito Nacional sobre Insegurança Alimentar no Contexto da Pandemia da COVID-19 no Brasil. Available online: (accessed on 15 August 2023).
  32. PENSSAN Network. 2022. II Inquérito Nacional sobre Insegurança Alimentar no Contexto da Pandemia da COVID-19 no Brasil. II VIGISAN: Relatório Final. São Paulo: Fundação Friedrich Ebert. [Google Scholar]
  33. Recine, Elisabetta Gioconda Iole Giovanna. 2023. O Consea voltou! Ou como resistir em tempos desafiadores. Cadernos de Saúde Pública 39: e00086523. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  34. Recine, Elisabetta, Andhressa Fagundes, Barbara Leone Silva, Giselle Silva Garcia, Rita de Cássia Lisboa Ribeiro, and Cristine Garcia Gabriel. 2020. Reflections on the extinction of the National Councilfor Food and Nutrition Security and the confrontation of COVID-19 in Brazil. Revista de Nutrição 33: e200176. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  35. Ribeiro, Silvana Maria, Cláudia Maria Bógus, and Helena Akemi Wada Watanabe. 2015. Agricultura urbana agroecológica na perspectiva da promoção da saúde. Saúde e Sociedade 24: 730–743. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  36. Riccieri, Grazielle, Cleiton Franco, Natalie Guzatti, Raimundo Nonato Cunha França, and Adriano Marcos Rodrigues Figueiredo. 2023. The impact of the MP. 870/2019 about the basic food basket in brazilian capital capitals. SciELO Preprints. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  37. Sagae, Erika. 2020. Agricultura urbana no planejamento das cidades e a participação social. Revista Americana de Empreendedorismo e Inovação 2: 45–51. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  38. Santos, Caroline Oliveira, and Dyego Arruda de Oliveira. 2020. As políticas públicas e os corpos subalternizados em tempos de pandemia: Reflexões a partir da implementação do auxílio emergencial no Brasil. Ciências Sociais Unisinos 56: 143–54. [Google Scholar]
  39. Sauer, Sergio, and Milena de Oliveira Evangelista. 2023. O pós-golpe e o ‘des-enfrentamento’ da insegurança alimentar durante a pandemia do coronavírus no Brasil. 10º Encontro da Rede de Estudos Rurais. São Carlos: UFSCar. [Google Scholar]
  40. Saule, Nelson, Jr. 2016. O direito à cidade como questão central para a nova agenda urbana mundial. In Geopolítica Das Cidades: Velhos Desafios, Novos Problemas. Editora Balbim. 1a ed. Brasília: IPEA. [Google Scholar]
  41. Secretaria de Relações Institucionais. 2015. Brazil without Misery. Available online: (accessed on 14 November 2023).
  42. Silva, Sthefanie Aguiar da, João Marcelo Pereira Ribeiro, Wellyngton Silva de Amorim, Ana Valquiria Jonck, and José Baltazar Salgueirinho Osório de Andrade Guerra. 2018. Análise das políticas brasileiras para segurança alimentar: Estratégias adotadas para enfrentar os desafios do Brasil no contexto do II Plano Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional (PLANSAN). Repositório Universitário da Ânima. Capítulo de E-books. Santa Catarina: Editora UNISUL. [Google Scholar]
  43. Souza, Bruna Fernanda do Nascimento Jacinto de, Milena Serenini Bernardes, Valéria Cristina Ribeiro Vieira, Priscila Maria Stolses Bergamo Francisco, Letícia Marín-León, Daniele Flaviane Mendes Camargo, and Ana Maria Segall Corrêa. 2021. (In) Segurança alimentar no Brasil no pré e pós pandemia da COVID-19: Reflexões e perspectivas. InterAmerican Journal of Medicine and Health 4. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  44. Zaar, Miriam Hermi. 2015. A agricultura urbana e periurbana (AUP) no marco da soberania alimentar. Sociedade e Território 27: 26–44. [Google Scholar]
Figure 1. Reduction in extreme poverty among PBF (millions of people). Source: CadÚnico and payroll of PBF.
Figure 1. Reduction in extreme poverty among PBF (millions of people). Source: CadÚnico and payroll of PBF.
Laws 12 00090 g001
Figure 2. Percentage distribution of food security and food insecurity (FI) levels in Brazil and by household location (urban and rural). Source: II VIGISAN—SA/IA and COVID-19, Brazil 2021/2022.
Figure 2. Percentage distribution of food security and food insecurity (FI) levels in Brazil and by household location (urban and rural). Source: II VIGISAN—SA/IA and COVID-19, Brazil 2021/2022.
Laws 12 00090 g002
Disclaimer/Publisher’s Note: The statements, opinions and data contained in all publications are solely those of the individual author(s) and contributor(s) and not of MDPI and/or the editor(s). MDPI and/or the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to people or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content.

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Domingos, A.T.S.; Mesquita, C.O.; de Godoi, E.L.; Mendes, T.A. Brazil’s Return to the Hunger Map: An Analysis of Public Policies and Effective Measures for Food Security. Laws 2023, 12, 90.

AMA Style

Domingos ATS, Mesquita CO, de Godoi EL, Mendes TA. Brazil’s Return to the Hunger Map: An Analysis of Public Policies and Effective Measures for Food Security. Laws. 2023; 12(6):90.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Domingos, Ana Tereza Souza, Carolina Oliveira Mesquita, Emiliano Lobo de Godoi, and Thiago Augusto Mendes. 2023. "Brazil’s Return to the Hunger Map: An Analysis of Public Policies and Effective Measures for Food Security" Laws 12, no. 6: 90.

Note that from the first issue of 2016, this journal uses article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Back to TopTop