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Monday, 12 May 2014

SNV prepares for HGSFP match making

By Bob Aston
The Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) held a meeting in Sipili town, Laikipia County on May 7, 2014 in preparation of match making for cereal banks and Co-operative operating in Laikipia West. The meeting which was also attended by Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) was to help the group identify schools which they can feed through Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP).
Justus addressing participants
The meeting was also attended by Laikipia Produce and Marketing Co-operative Society, Ng’arua cereals and produce SHG, Sipili cereal Bank and Ndurumo Cereal bank. The three cereal banks and co-operative have a combined membership of 520 members.
During the meeting Justus Nzuki, a consultant with Kilimo Biashara informed the participants the benefits of small scale farmers in accessing HGSFP market. The benefits include; empowering farmers, increased production, promotion of the group as a whole, increased food security, food hygiene, better livelihood and better bargaining power.
Nzuki said that the meeting was simply in preparation of match making which is set to take place on Wednesday.
He said that priority is normally given to farmers and parents. He urged the co-operative and cereal banks to put structures in place to ensure that there is trust between the groups.
Home Grown School Feeding Programme is currently being done in 22 counties in Kenya. SNV has taken five (5) counties as pilot project. The counties are Laikipia, Kitui, Narok, Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet.
Sam Nzioka from ALIN-Ng'arua Maarifa Centre leading the discussion
The Ministry of Education began the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) in 2008. The programme is implemented in semi-arid areas of the country that are vulnerable to food insecurity. This programme operates as a cash transfer programme where schools receive resources from the government for the local purchase of food products.
School Feeding programmes have long proved effective in improving school enrolment, improving and stabilizing school attendance as well as increasing progression and completion rates in primary schools.
SNV is trying to ensure that farmers benefit through the program by supplying farm produce to schools. They are now aiming to ensure that 10,000 new farmers are added to the program.
The co-operative and the cereal banks also plan to sell their maize in bulk and to store it to await the best price and sell through Sokopepe. They are now planning to set an aggregation centre. This they say will help them to satisfy the sokopepe market which has registered a huge demand of maize.
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