Nigeria's Federal Ministries collaborate to extend HGSF

On May 19 2014, a special high-level convening of federal ministers, state governors and international experts was held in Abuja to discuss how more of Nigeria’s school children and farmers can benefit from Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programmes.  

Described as a win-win for children and smallholder farmers alike, Home Grown School Feeding programmes provide hot fresh nutritious meals using ingredients procured from local smallholder farmers.

HGSF is not a new concept in Nigeria, back in 2004, 13 states implemented HGSF programme pilots. Jump forward 10 years and only two states, Osun and Kano, are still feeding their school children. However the beneficial impact of HGSF on these states – in Osun, school enrolment has increased by 28% and over 3000 new jobs created - has not gone unnoticed. 

To build on this the Minister of Education, Honourable Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, with support from the Vitol Foundation, invited his counterparts from the Ministries of Agriculture and Health, the Governors from Osun State and Kano State and development partners including the Partnership for Child Development, the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to discuss how best to support other Nigerian states looking to benefit from HGSF programmes. 

The Osun State Government’s development of school feeding has benefited from the technical advice and support provided by Imperial College London’s Partnership for Child Development (PCD). PCD in partnership with the World Bank and WFP has been providing directed, evidence based support for the design and management of school feeding programmes linked to agricultural production. 

PCD’s Executive Director, Dr Lesley Drake, said, 
“The meeting is an excellent example of high level inter-ministerial collaboration at the federal and state level  to design sustainable school feeding programmes which will improve the lives of children and smallholder farmers across the country. “

Immediately following this meeting a technical workshop in Osun, hosted by the State’s Governor H. E. Rauf Aregbesola, will be held for States keen to learn from Osun’s expertise in running sustainable HGSF programmes.