Gaborone, Botswana- 22 November 2011 –The Ministry of Local Government for Botswana, representatives from the Partnership for Child Development (PCD), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), United Nations Agencies, policymakers and decision makers on the country’s ‘Home Grown School Feeding Programme’ (HGSF) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) today met to make concrete recommendations for the future direction of the Programme.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Botswana’s Minister of Local Government, Mr. Peter Lehlogonolo Siele, highlighted Botswana’s interest and commitment towards the HGSF. He advised that the Programme could be strengthened by linking local farmers to the school feeding market and also through the development of relevant policies.
“The Government of Botswana has a longstanding commitment to school feeding programme and have been supported by the World Food Programme. However, in 1997 the government of Botswana fully took over the programme to ensure local ownership and accountability,” said Mr. Siele.
Speaking at the workshop, Ms. Boitshepo Giyose, Advisor for Food and Nutrition Security at NEPAD said: “HGSF has an immediate impact on food insecurity in Africa”
The objectives of the 3 day workshop included:
the creation of a general appreciation of the HGSF as an approach to school feeding;,
the development of an integrated country level assessment that will form the basis for a shared vision on the national school feeding programme; and
the provision of a platform to strengthen multisectoral partnerships to improve school feeding programme policy and programme implementation.
Although Botswana is a middle income country, it recognises the need to diversify its development investments by moving the focus away from minerals to agricultural production. In doing this, the country plans to support smallholder farmers to sustainably implement the HGSF.
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