Flexible Voluntary Contribution (FVC)

Nutrition sensitive agriculture and social protection


The FMM sub-programme aims to increase access to income-generating opportunities and better nutrition for smallholder producers and their communities. These would be achieved through supporting the sustainable production of healthy and diversified food, as well as through strengthening gender- and nutrition-sensitive social protection. The sub-programme brings a unique approach that, combining nutrition- sensitive social protection and agriculture, tackles malnutrition in Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada, and Guyana. The approach is based on the Home-Grown School Feeding (HGSF) model, which is to provide children in schools with safe, diverse, and nutritious food sourced locally from smallholders. The benefits of HGSF go beyond nutrition to tackle livelihoods of smallholder famers and local communities. They also strengthen the nexus between nutrition, agriculture and social protection. School feeding is key in facilitating access to education by increasing school enrolment, attendance and completion. Also, by providing stable markets where food is sourced for school feeding locally from smallholder farmers, governments are boosting local agriculture and tackling poverty.

The direct beneficiaries of this sub-programme are the most food insecure and nutritionally vulnerable family farmer households in the target countries, and in particular:

  • Cash transfers participants (women and men)
  • Smallholder households (men and women) potentially producing for school feeding programmes
  • School aged children (girls and boys)
  • Other consumers

Governmental institutions that work on social protection and agriculture will benefit directly from the subprogramme. This is particularly the case of relevant departments and units directly in charge of the analysis, design and implementation of specific social protection, FSN and agriculture policies and programmes, which will benefit from FAO's capacity development  support in implementing an integrated approach to social protection and agriculture.

Recipient countries
Ethiopia, Grenada, Guyana, Kyrgyzstan

Status of the subprogramme
On going


Major results

FAO is working in strict collaboration with local and international partners to bring organizational expertise in recipient countries. Assessments and other activities have led to the identification of entry points for national interventions, and FAO is supporting local actors in the implementation of activities and strategies that combine social protection and agriculture. All activities are based on broad multi-stakeholder collaborations with local entities and international organizations.

The sub-programme was declared operational by February 2020. The design was carried out in close consultation with the four recipient countries, which are fully involved in the implementation of activities.

Technical colleagues, in coordination with the ESN team, will follow up with countries to ensure that country agreements are signed and that implementation begins as early as possible.

Several challenges were experience as a result of COVID-19, including:

  • Travel and movement restrictions due to the pandemic
  • An increased risk that government priorities will shift due to the pandemic and that the subprogramme will not remain a priority

Mitigation of the challenges:

  • Ensuring that work plans include adequate time for planning of meetings, trainings and workshops as well as flexible planning in case restrictions change.
  • Increased responsibilities of global and national project coordinators and technical capacity of national consultants.
  • Ensuring alternatives to in-person meetings, workshops and training to maintain communication effective in support of the implementation of planned activities.

Share this page