A-three-day regional workshop on Home Grown School Feeding within the context of national School Health and Nutrition (SHN) programmes yesterday kicked-off on June 4 in Banjul, Gambia.


Speaking at the opening ceremony, Madam Fatou Lamin Faye, the Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, said "The forum presents an exciting opportunity that brings together a diverse range of expertise in the areas of education, agriculture and health, to explore further the barriers and actions required to achieve a nationally owned sustainable home-grown school feeding programme and linking it to the broader school health and nutrition package".


School feeding programmes have been shown to improve child nutrition, learning abilities, increase school enrolment and children are also more likely to stay in school once they are there.


The workshop, which is hosted by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education of The Gambia, with support from the Partnership for Child Development and the World Bank, was in response to the needs for raising awareness and understanding of diverse strategies for sustainable school feeding programmes, with a renewed focus on linkages with agriculture in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries.


According to organisers, the broad objectives of the Banjul workshop are to share experiences and take stock of the status of implementation of school-feeding programmes, with a view to having paradigm shift in favour of a nationally owned school feeding programme.​


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