23 ministers representing ministries of agriculture, health and education from low and middle income countries were among the 300 participants who recently attended the Global Child Nutrition Forum (GCNF) 2013 which focused on strengthening school feeding programmes sourced from local smallholder farmers.

Making the Case for Investing in School Feeding 
The Forum which took place in Bahia, Brazil heard from the region's governor, Jack Wagner, who during the opening ceremony said, "School feeding and child development is crucial for the development of our country."

He continued, "We are sure that school feeding is an attraction for getting children in school and we need to realise that bringing education to our children is a priority."  

Ministers attending the Forum represented countries developing new programmes, or seeking to improve existing school feeding programmes and included countries: Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia and Sudan. Other countries included Iraq from the Middle East; Haiti and Costa Rica from Latin America and the Caribbean; and Tajikistan from Asia.

Forum Details​

On the official first day of the Forum ministers from Ghana, Mozambique, Mali and Costa Rica presented their country experiences which clearly highlighted the "win-win" benefits of the HGSF initiative; namely, its positive impact on child nutrition, education as in addition to agricultural development.​

Experiences were exchanged and opinions debated over options for developing sustainable national school feeding programmes to local farm production, highlighting a key message of the event - that there is not a one size fits all policy for the programme implementation across countries.


Throughout the five days, the Forum provided:


1. Hands-on programme planning in which countries evaluated their capacity and engaged in a country needs assessments;
2. development of country specific plans for establishing programmes;
3. opportunities to learn from other countries’ experiences through the exchange of information about what works and what does not work through case studies and other strategies;
4. and networking mechanisms for continued collaboration after delegates return home.

Using its experience and expertise, the Brazilian government have been able to provide south-to-south support to other countries wishing to implement the programmes. So far, this assistance has extended to 43 countries.​

Other Forum Articles

Country Experiences - the Benefits of Investing in School Feeding​
Brazilian Ministers welcome participants at the Global Child Nutrition Forum 2013 ​
Global Child Nutrition Forum 2013​​