Stakeholders want the federal government to sustain the National school feeding programme to enhance basic education and agricultural development.
They made the call at the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme policy consultation and validation meeting in Abuja.
Presenting the policy framework, by the team led, by Aishatu Digil, who is also the technical assistant to the Minister of humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouk, said the policy will be extended to out of school children, school children with special needs, and children learning under emergencies.
” The policy speaks about, providing significant social economic relief to vulnerable households, especially households headed by a female, households that are headed by children, vulnerable children living amongst us. The school feeding programme seeks to provide some sort of safety net.
We also want to make sure that children are able to learn. The school feeding programme as an incentive attracts children. So it’s such a beautiful programme and we want to make sure that the policy speaks to that and also, the policy seeks to present how this programme can address short term hunger” she explained.
National Coordinator National Social Investment Programme (NSIPs), Dr Umar Binder who represented the Minister said they will engage hundreds of women as cook and also create revenue for farmers to go into large scale farming to deliver fresh produce for the feeding of school children.
“Utilising the raw materials in the local area. We believe that as always, food is a magnet, and this magnet they put in a school will attract children, even if they were not in school, to go to school. And for those who are in schools, they will go to school regularly, and on time” He said.
Deputy Country Director, World Food Programme, Guy Aduoa, in a message promised to support the government through direct assistance and technical and enabling support.
The policy draft of the national home grown school feeding programme is accessible to the public.
Reporting by Chinasa Ossai; Editing by Julian Osamoto and Adeniyi Bakare