The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, has said that the Federal Government will enrol an additional 5 million pupils into its National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) by 2023.
The expected new intakes are to add to the existing over 9 million pupils, who are already benefiting from the programme according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Mrs Halima Oyelade, the Special Assistant to the Minister on Corporate Communications said on Friday, July 2, that the Minister disclosed this during a stakeholders’ meeting for the enumeration of beneficiaries and scaling up of the NHGSFP in Zamfara.
What the Minister said
Farouq in her statement said, “Over nine million pupils are benefitting from one free nutritious meal a day during school term nationwide. Now, we have the mandate to reach an additional five million pupils by 2023.
With over 100,000 cooks employed and more than 100,000 smallholder farmers participating in this value chain, the NHGSFP is a serious potential for socio-economic development and it needs to be strengthened, scaled up and sustained nationwide.
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I am pleased that the Zamfara and Federal NHGSFP teams, as well as key stakeholders, are working jointly and closely to verify existing numbers of beneficiaries on the programme and update the records for better effectiveness, transparency and accountability.
To this end, while thanking the Zamfara Government for its commitment in implementing the NHGSFP, I also wish to encourage us all to do more to ensure more children benefit from this programme.”
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She further explained that the NHGSFP was designed as a multi-faceted intervention to drive up school enrollment, boost the nutrition of the pupils, support local production of food and encourage employment and income generation.
She said, “Specifically, it is aimed at the provision of one nutritious meal to all pupils in public primary schools in classes one to three.”
What you should know
The National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) is a government-led N70 per day school feeding programme that aims to improve the health and educational outcomes of public primary school pupils.
It uses farm produce locally grown by smallholder farmers to provide children with nutritious mid-day meals every school day. The programme links local farmers to the education sector by facilitating their access to the school feeding market.
In 2004, the Federal Government of Nigeria piloted the implementation of Home Grown School Feeding beginning with 12 states selected from the six geopolitical zones.
The current NHGSFP started in 2016 with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision is to fight abject poverty behind the decision to inaugurate the National Social Investment Programme which comprises the NHGSFP, N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfer and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.