By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The Home Grown School Feeding Programme, one of the packages under the Federal Government’s Social Intervention Programme (SIP) has created wealth for over 250,000 farmers, cooks and others involved in the scheme.
According to statistics made available during a joint press briefing on the progress of the Scheme, a total of N651million is being earned on a daily basis by farmers and cooks.
The SIP is an initiative of the Buhari led administration, supervised by the office of the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Briefing newsmen on the successes of the scheme, Mr Ismaeel Ahmed, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SIP, said that a total of 9.3 million children were currently being fed in over 49,000 schools in 26 states.
Ahmed added that the government was currently engaging over 150,000 farmers across Nigeria and over 100,000 cooks in the 26 states at the cost of N70 per child every school day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at N70 every school day for 9.3 million children, the Federal Government pays the farmers and the cooks N651 million.
The Social Investment Programme consists primarily of 4 units: The N-Power Programme which is targeted at unemployed young graduates; the Home Grown School Feeding Programme which seeks to feed all Nigerian children in public primary schools; the Conditional Cash Transfer which gives out 5,000 Naira monthly in cash to the poorest of the poor Nigerians in our innermost rural communities; and the GEEP comprising of Market Moni and Trader Moni, which is giving loans of N50,000 to N 100,000 Naira to artisans, market men and women, small
Ahmed explained that the money paid to farmers in the school feeding programme had gone a long way to change the lot of thousands of farmers, cooks and others involved in the value chain for the school feeding.
“The Home-Grown School Feeding Programme is helping to create wealth in the rural areas. The School Feeding Programme requires about 6.8 million eggs, 594 cattle and 83 metric tons of fish to be supplied to the cooks, every week, for the purpose of feeding 9,300,892 children in 49,837 government schools in 26 States.
“Try to imagine the impact of this demand among the rural farmers in the communities hosting these schools.
“People who normally focused on subsistence agriculture for the sole purpose of feeding their families, have expanded into commercialized farming to meet the needs of the School Feeding Programme.
“These same farmers have their kids in these schools, so that serves as added motivation to meet our demands of foodstuff because they know it is no gimmick.
“For some of them, their wives are cooks in the programme, preparing the meals for the school kids,” he said.