The Federal Government will enrol additional five million pupils into the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) over the next two years.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, made the disclosure during a stakeholders meeting for the enumeration of beneficiaries and scaling up of the NHGSFP in Zamfara State.
This was contained in a statement by the special assistant on Corporate Communications to the Minister, Mrs Halima Oyelade, in Friday in Abuja.
“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 small holder 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.
“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,” she said.
She further explained that the NHGSFP was designed as a multi-faceted intervention to drive up school enrollment, boost nutrition of the pupils, support local production of food and encourage employment and income generation.
“Specifically, it is aimed at the provision of one nutritious meal to all pupils in public primary schools in classes one to three,” she added.
She noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision to fight abject poverty was behind the decision to inaugurate the National Social Investment Programme which comprised of the NHGSFP, N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfer and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).