By Rita Iliya
Minna – The Federal Government says it will link one million farmers to its Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) across the country.
Mrs Abimbola Adesanmi, National Programme Manager of the programme, disclosed this at the National Level Exchange and Experience Sharing Meeting of HGSFP in collaboration with Action for Aid International in Minna on Monday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants at the meeting were drawn from Kaduna, Benue, Bauchi, Ogun, Anambra and Akwa Ibom states.
NAN also reports that the participants were expected to learn and share experiences from the implementation of HGSFP in Niger.
The meeting is funded by McArthur Foundation for promoting accountability and transparency in the school feeding programme.
“We have 4,500 bags of rice that are consumed everyday by pupils in Niger, 3,400 bags of beans consumed weekly and 11,848 tubers of yams consumed, which is produced by 186 farmers across the 25 Local Government Areas of the state,” she said.
She, however, disclosed that 9.9 million pupils were currently benefitting from the programme in 56,000 schools across the country with 107,000 food vendors on its payroll.
In his address, Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger, said that the state government was committed to the implementation of the school feeding programme.
Bello, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso, pledged his administration’s continuous support to the success of the programme in the state.
He urged participants to use the forum to share ideas and learn from the experiences of the selected states to ensure sustainability of the programme.
Earlier, Mrs Amina Gu’ar, Focal Person of the programme in the state, said that over 3,000 public schools were benefiting from the programme.
She said that the programme was aimed at improving nutritional value among pupils as well as to increase school enrollment.
She disclosed that the programme had created over 14,000 direct jobs and over 1,000 indirect jobs in the state.
In his remarks, Mr Kehinde Arowosegbe, National PATS-F Project Coordinator, Kaduna, said that they were in the state on the recommendation of the NHGSFP to understudy its successes in the state. (NAN)