The pilot phase of the Project School Farm for School Meal (SF4SM) successfully came to an end with over 3000 children fed across nine public secondary schools.
Through the support of the Embassy of Denmark in Nigeria, we were able to implement and manage the project effectively.
Program SF4SM was designed innovatively to create a sustainable food self-sufficiency model across Nigerian schools and enhance food security in rural areas.
Through the feeding program, a 30% increase in attendance of pupils was recorded and we are excited at this massive increase in attendance which is one of the goals of the project. Also from teachers’ reports and interviews, they noticed an increasing concentration and an improved attitude towards learning by the pupils in their schools, a positive impact of the program that cannot be overemphasized.
In 2021, according to Global Hunger Index report, Nigeria ranks 103rd out of the 116 countries with sufficient data to calculate 2021 GHI scores, with a score of 28.3. This data depict that Nigeria has a level of hunger and food insufficiency that is considered serious with children and the vulnerable being the most affected. Food scarcity is detrimental to the growth and development of citizens and affects life expectancy amongst all age group. In addition, between 2018 and 2020, six percent of children aged under five living in Africa had a too low weight for their height due to wasting. In Western Africa, this share was 6.9 percent, the highest in Africa. Wasting is a predictor of infant mortality. It is caused by a large food shortage, often accompanied by diseases.
In a pragmatic and proactive bid to respond to these emerging hunger challenges especially as it affects children of all age group in Nigeria, African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF) and the Embassy of Denmark in Nigeria through this project designed a sustainable structure that does not just feed the children but equip them with basic farming skills for growing their own food.
In doing this, pupils of young learning age through practice were skilledup with sustainable crop farming and aquaculture practices with the aid of a user friendly guide with zero labour practice. They are also able to further replicate same in their various homes.
Local community farmers were also huge beneficiaries of the Project as they underwent training and acquired effective,sustainable, and improved seed varieties for planting.
We are looking forward to implementing the project on a larger scope which will cut across public schools in the four geographic locations of the State.