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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Eggs: harnessing their power for the fight against hunger and malnutrition

Olutosin Otekunrin
Olutosin OtekunrinFederal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, NigeriaNigeria

Dwelling on the aspect of this discussion (2) “What are the different ways that we could increase demand for eggs, other than increasing availability and reducing price? What are some examples of successful initiatives?”                                                                                                                                         

The Nigerian Experience  

One of the major initiatives explored by the government of Nigeria in improving the lives of the people is through the implementation of Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) Programme which focused on providing food to school children (food based safety net programme) and this will indirectly help improve food security in the beneficiary households. The preparation of the meals will include the supply of protein rich foods like poultry products (mainly chicken and eggs). Demand for eggs will increase in this areas and other variety of food types where this programme is been implemented.

Children will benefit from a hot nutritionally balanced school meal; farmers will benefit from improved access to school feeding markets; and communities will benefit from new jobs across the supply chain such as catering, processing and food handling jobs. Besides the direct benefits, it is intended that HGSF can act as an important catalyst to drive (a) Agriculture-nutrition policies given the direct nutritional components of HGSF menus, and (b) Smallholder market participation with spill-over effects on broader public agriculture commodity procurement.

 

The main Objectives of HGSF programme are as follow:

1. The school enrolment and completion: The programme is aimed at improving the enrolment of primary school children in Nigeria and reduce the current dropout rate in primary school which was estimated to be 30%.

2. Child Nutrition and Health: The programme aimed at addressing the poor nutrition and health status of many children and thereby improving their overall academic performance (learning outcomes).

3. Local Agricultural Production: the programme aimed at stimulating local agricultural production and boost the income of farmers by creating a viable and ready market through the school feeding programme .

4. Creating jobs and improving family and state economy: The programme aimed at create jobs along the value chain and provide multiplier effect for economic growth and development.

HGSF programme is designed to provide minimum of one meal a day to each school pupil.

The Federal Government of Nigeria piloted the implementation of Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programme in 2004. The Federal Ministry of Education was the designated implementing agency for a phased-pilot rollout, beginning with 12 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) selected from the six geopolitical zones.

Federal Government of Nigeria in collaboration with New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other International Development Partners, developed the Home Grown School Feeding and Health Programme (HGSFHP). The programme was launched in September, 2005. Out of the 13 States that stated the programme in 2004, it is only Osun State that is still in full implementation of the programme. The State Osun HGSFHP, now known as Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (O-MEALS) commenced as a pilot programme in May 2006. Since 2012, the state has redesigned and funded it considerably to live to the aims and objectives of this programme among other states in the country.

 

Implementation of O-MEALS in Osun State

The state government worked with nutritionist in the tertiary institutions within the state for menu development for the programme. Large number of food vendors were identified from all Local Government Areas (LGAs), trained and empowered to prepare the meals in conducive and hygienic environments. Food materials are sourced from local farmers associations directly by food vendors.

Phase I: April 2012 with feeding of pupils in grades 1, 2, & 3

Phase II: Extended in December 2012 to include pupils in grade 4.