Zanzibar to launch its first ever Home Grown School Feeding programme


In the coming months Zanzibar’s Government are taking their first steps in launching a new national school feeding programme which aims to improve the health and education of the island’s children whilst at the same time raising the income of local farmers.

The programme will be initially piloted to reach on 5250 children from 10 schools drawn from the North Pemba and North Unguja regions of Zanzibar which have high levels of poverty and malnutrition. School feeding programmes have been shown to increase school enrolment, learning and nutrition, and given that in the target regions only 66% of primary school aged children graduate, the new HGSF programmes has the potential help improve the education and lives of thousands of children. If successful the pilot will help improve scale up.

Holiday Funded Meals

Initial funding for the programme is being provided by the philanthropic organisations Table for Two. However the Government and its development partners are taking an innovative approach to securing the long-term the sustainability of the programme by getting funding for it from the millions of tourists who visit the Island every year. By exploring opportunities for linking cultural tourism to national development goals the Government of Zanzibar and the Partnership for Child Development (PCD), Imperial College London will look at funding the programme through donations from cultural tourism.

By adopting the HGSF ethos the Zanzibar programme will look to source commodities locally, providing an income stream for the wider community by enabling smallholder farmers to sell their produce to their local schools and community members to deriving livings from managing the food supply, building stores and kitchens and supplying the necessary skills and materials to produce hot healthy school meals.

Genesis of HGSF in Zanzibar

The potential of school feeding to act as a social safety net has been long recognised by the Zanzibar Government who developed a programme proposal in 2012. To move the programme from concept to reality the Government requested the technical assistance of PCD, Imperial College London.

A HGSF programme design and sustainability strategy which reflects learnings from other country programmes were developed and a PCD facilitated a multi-ministry workshop, attended by Zanzibar’s Permanent Secretaries and technical experts was held to enhance government capacity to implement the programme.

This innovative programme offers exciting prospects – as a first of its kind for the Zanzibar Government there are significant opportunities to generate great experience and learning on programme delivery whilst it grows.