Namibian School Feeding Programme Gaps Identified

An operational review of the Namibian School Feeding Programme (NSFP) uncovered significant gaps in the design and implementation of the programme, which affected its quality.

The review was done by the Ministry of Education with technical support from the World Food Programme, New Partnership for African Development (Nepad) and the Partnership of Child Development in 2012.

It found gaps in support that focused on policy guidance, knowledge generation and management, system development and strengthening, and capacity building that are implemented to manage the programme.

Read more: Namibian School Feeding Programme Gaps Identified


Improving Child Nutrition in Zanzibar - Farmers Trained on Growing Orange Flesh Sweet Potato

Farmers on training

Orange Flesh Sweet Potato is a highly nutritious crop currently being used in Zanzibar’s school meals programme, with the potential to eliminate vitamin A deficiency commonly found in Zanzibari school children. 
At present, a number of farmers throughout the archipelago are unaware of its nutritional value and how to grow and store it. To address this issue, Imperial College London’s the Partnership for Child Development trained local farmers supplying the islands’ school feeding programme to produce and store the potatoes so that they can be steadily delivered to schools throughout the year to combat child malnutrition.  

Read more: Improving Child Nutrition in Zanzibar - Farmers Trained on Growing Orange Flesh Sweet Potato


Linking Local Rice Producers to School Feeding Markets in Mali

In Mali, many children prefer eating rice for lunch and school cooks find rice easier to prepare and cook than other grains. For these reasons, school canteens typically buy and use rice for school meals. But, in the regions of Koulikoro and Sikasso, due to agroecological conditions, farmers do not produce rice - most produce millet, sorghum and maize. In these areas, almost all the rice used for school feeding is imported from Senegal. How can Procurement Governance-Home Grown School Feeding (PG-HGSF) in Mali include more local Malian farmers in the school feeding value chain?
The PG-HGSF Mali team hopes to work with farmers in the Ségou region to link them to school feeding markets in Koulikoro and Sikasso. Located along the banks of the Niger river between Koulikoro and Sikasso, Ségou is notable for its potential to produce quality rice in large quantities. L’office Riz Ségou (the Rice Office of Ségou) recorded that in 2013, the region produced 64,400 tonnes of rice. The Mali team also met a group of rice producers called Faso Djigui that store rice and currently have a stock of over 1,500 tonnes. The ready supply from Ségou could be linked to schools in Koulikoro and Sikasso, bolstering domestic production and decreasing the need to import rice from abroad.

Read more: Linking Local Rice Producers to School Feeding Markets in Mali


Brazilian pro-smallholder procurement model inspires African governments

Boy eating lunch in Ethiopia Drawing from the expertise of Brazil’s widely acclaimed national local procurement programme, five African countries are piloting their own indigenous models. This small-scale pilot project known as Purchase from Africans in Africa (PAA), is implemented by FAO, WFP, local governments, and the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since its inception in 2012, PAA Africa has developed a complimentary approach to P4P, promoting the use of food items purchased from local smallholder farmers in WFP and government-run school feeding programmes.

In June, PAA Africa hosted an  Institutional Markets Knowledge Sharing Seminar in Addis where P4P and other partners met to discuss smallholder procurement and share lessons learned.

Read more: Brazilian pro-smallholder procurement model inspires African governments


HGSF: Time for Donors to Deepen Engagement

Officials during the matchmaking event on the school visitA new policy paper, "Home Grown School Feeding: Time for Donors to Deepen Engagement", from Imperial College London's Partnership for Child Development analyses official donor involvement with HGSF, and recommends how it can be put further up donors’ agendas to increase potential impacts for farmers, children and the economic development of countries.

The HGSF model where school meals made with food procured from local smallholder farmers can be described as a “win-win” - providing smallholder farmers with a fixed income, as well as enabling well fed children to learn and develop into healthy adults.

Despite the benefits of HGSF, donor support for this model varies considerably. As significant challenges remain in meeting global development goals on hunger, education and poverty, focusing attention on HGSF and other such innovative approaches which link agriculture, health and education sectors is crucial. 

Read more: HGSF: Time for Donors to Deepen Engagement


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