Madagascar start school feeding programme

madagascar school feeding images
PCD's Elodie Yard and Irish Ramahazosoa Parker
Director of Basic Education inspect school
handwashing facilities.

The Government of Madagascar has started the rollout out a Home Grown School Feeding programme to provide free school meals using food procured from local smallholder farmers.

The programme is being implemented in 60 schools selected from the towns of Androy, Anosy and Atsimo Andrefana.

Irish Ramahazosoa Parker, Director of Basic Education with the Ministry of Education, said, “Buying the food locally significantly reduces the cost of providing free school meals by reducing handling, packaging and transport costs.”

“The programme is part of a national school feeding policy, initiated by the Ministry of Education, that is seeking to identify a sustainable and lasting solution to food shortages in the southern regions of the country. Home Grown School Feeding programmes provide multiple returns because on the one hand they boost the local agricultural economy by providing a stable market and on the other hand the schools are able to benefit from a regular supply of inexpensive and nutritious locally-grown food.“

Mr Parker was speaking at a charity telethon in Androsy organized by the Ministry of Education to aid school children and victims of famine in the Androy region. During the event, over 13 million Ar ($US 4066), 13½ tonnes of rice, 500kg of sugar, 720 cans of condensed milk and 250 tonnes of corn were collected for 120 schools from across the region.

Technical support for a feasibility study of the school feeding programme is being provided by the Partnership for Child Development based at Imperial College London.

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