HGSF in Kenya

A Kenyan context

The Republic of Kenya is one of the leading economies in East Africa. Kenya’s population lives predominantly in rural zones, however, only 15% of Kenya’s total land area has sufficient fertility and rainfall which can be farmed. Levels of malnutrition remain unacceptably high in Kenya with around 30% of child deaths attributed to under-nutrition. The major factors contributing to high malnutrition in Kenya include; increasing food insecurity as a result of recurrent droughts, rising food prices and poor dietary diversity. According to the 2009 consensus approximately 77.2% of Kenya’s children enrolled in primary schools: while since 2003 primary education in Kenya is free, other education related costs like school uniforms remain a barrier and not all children are in school.

Find out more about Kenya school health and nutrition



The HGSF Concept

HGSF programmes provide nutritious meals to school children produced by local small holder   farmers. HGSF programs benefit children as provision of (daily) nutritious meals positively impact school enrolment and performances. As HGSF programmes run for a fixed number of days a year and have a pre-determined food basket, they can also provide the opportunity to benefit farmers by generating a structured and predictable demand for their products.

HGSF in Kenya

The Government of Kenya developed and implemented two different HGSF models in support of the Millennium Development Goals:

  1. Njaa Marufuku Kenya Programme (NMK)
    • Initiated in 2005 this is only school feeding programmes in Africa that is led by the Ministry of Agriculture.
    • Njaa Marufuku targets areas that have high and medium potential to grow food.
    • The programme reaches over 44,000 children in 66 schools.
    • School feeding committees, consisting of parents and teachers, are responsible for procurement and preparation of meals. The committees are free to prepare any meal from locally available food items.
    • The NMK programme provides training and fertilizers to local farmers to enable them to produce excess which they sell to the school.
    • Food procurement support by the Government is for a period of three years after which the community is expected to take over.
 NMK training
  1. The Home Grown School Meals programme (HGSM)
    • Initiated in 2009 and led by the Ministry of Education.
    • The programme feeds nearly 600,000 school children in 1800 schools located in 66 semi-arid districts (2011).
    • Under the HGSM programme children receive a midday meal consisting of cereals, pulses, oil and salt.
    • Food procurement is done each term through a competitive process with local farmers.
    • Community members provide storage and kitchen facilities.
    • The HGSM programme is now trying to strengthen links with smallholder farmers to enhance local agriculture production as well.
 teacher serving

The government of Kenya is making steps towards the development of a national strategy that will harmonize the two approaches under a common framework.

Key partners

The programmes receive broad-based support from both government and development partners. The Ministries of Education and Agriculture play a leading role in the implementation of HGSF in Kenya with technical support from development partners including World Food Progamme, the World Bank, VVOB, Deworm the World and the Partnership for Child Development, Imperial College London (PCD).