Family Farming - World Food Day 2014

Teresia with cow 2

The 2014 World Food Day themed - Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth” - has been chosen to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farmers, a strong signal of the international recognition of farmers' contributions to world food security.
By sourcing from family and smallholder farmers for school meals Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programmes have a great impact on eradicating hunger and poverty, food security and malnutrition, particularly in rural areas. HGSF programmes also address one key objective of the day - to celebrate the successes of linking agriculture and nutrition.
HGSF programmes were originally started in 2003 by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) of the African Union who launched a pilot HGSF and Health Programme. That same year, African governments included locally sourced school feeding programmes in NEPAD's Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
Interest from country governments has augmented over the last decade, and from 2009 Imperial College London's, Partnership for Child Development at the request of governments in BotswanaMali, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zanzibar and Nigeria has provided support to their HGSF programmes. 
By procuring food for school meals from smallholder farmers, whole communities benefit; farmers are secured of a reliable income and schoolchildren are provided with a free school meal which means they are more likely to go and stay in school, at the same time being well-fed means they can concentrate better whilst there.
The programmes therefore impact on school attendance, achievement, rural household income. Whats more others along the school feeding "supply chain" can also reap benefits; with jobs created for those who transport the food to schools and caterers who serve school meals to children. Below, a story of one HGSF beneficiary, Teresiah from Kenya explains how the multiple benefits of HGSF were brought to her and her family.  
Teresiah's Story 
Teresiah is a school cook, smallholder farmer, and single mother who lives in Karati town in Naivasha district, Kenya. And in 2012 when her husband passed away, she was left to raise her four children, becoming the family’s sole provider where she found herself in a constant search for money to look after her children.

When Teresiah heard that the school her children attend, North Karati Primary School, was providing school meals under Kenya’s national HGSF programme, Njaa Marufuku Kenya (NMK), she immediately went to find out more and became involved in the programme as both a cook and farmer. 
Today, Teresiah is amongst parents and the wider community who benefit from the services offered at the school which acts as an entry point for the transfer of agricultural technology and skills. The programme aims to provide the community with the techniques to increase the amount they are able to grow. Parents and children have also been trained by agricultural experts from the Ministry of Agriculture on the latest farming techniques on the school farm.
Teresiah grows maize and beans on her 1/2 acre of land near her house. From the free agricultural training provided at the school gardens Teresiah has been able to pick up new farming techniques and hopes that her crops this year will produce a higher yield. This would enable her to supplement her income by being able to sell the excess crops.
I am a better farmer now that I use the new techniques I've learnt. I can now feed my chickens and cow. Soon I hope to look for a bigger farm so I can get greater benefits from selling my produce. “says Teresiah. She continued, "It (the programme) has also helped my children attending school where we serve meals..they have improved in their performance in school."
Useful Links for World Food Day 2014