Home grown school feeding programmes have supported social and economic development in Ghana and can do so elsewhere in Africa. This was one of the key messages given by Food Prize Laureate and former Ghanaian President H.E. John Kufuor, at a discussion on innovations to tackle food security held in the UK Houses of Parliament last week.
H.E. Kufuor described how school feeding initiatives such as the Ghana School Feeding Programme which sourced its food from local smallholder farmers, benefited both school children and farmers alike.
H.E. Kufuor was speaking at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Developmentheld in conjunction with the Partnership for Child Development, Imperial College London.
The meeting, chaired by Lords Boateng and Cameron, brought togather parliamentarians, civil servants, academics and other representatives of civil society to discuss innovative ways to improve food security by linking local agriculture, nutrition and education.
The Partnership for Child Development, Imperial College London launced its supporttogovernments in sub-Saharan Africa to implement Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) progammes in 2009.
These programmes see the delivery of cost effective school feeding sourced from local farmers. As well as supporting rural economies, school feeding interventions have been shown to bring more children to school and to give food to those most in need.
Other panel speakers agreed on the importance of these programmes whichsee thathealthy well fed children to learn more efficiently and allow the gap to bridged between health and education.
The panel at the event were:
  • Keynote Speaker, His Excellency John Kufuor, Former President of Ghana and 2011 World Food Prize Laureate.
  • Professor Don Bundy, Lead Health Specialist, the World Bank.
  • Dr Boitshepo Giyose, Food and Nutrition Advisor, The New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).
  • Professor Sir Gordon Conway, Professor of International Development, Agriculture for Impact, The Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London.

To read a full press release on the event, please see the HGSF site.