Four public schools in Akwa Ibom State have been selected for the Sustainable Food Sufficiency Model Project organized by the African Foundation for Education and Childcare Development in partnership with the Embassy of Denmark in Nigeria.
The project titled “School Farm for School Meal”, which started on Monday, April 25, 2022, was supposed to provide 70% of school feeding needs for the first six months of the academic session.
ACAEDF Executive Director, Mr. David Umem, in a statement sent to our correspondent in Uyo on Tuesday, explained that the SF4SM project is not only for students in Nigeria but also for parents and all stakeholders in a child’s life, adding that the project would be expanded to other states in the near future.
He noted that the project was designed not only to feed the children, but to equip them with basic agricultural skills to grow their food.
In his words, “Although our intervention started with Akwa Ibom Government Schools, it is also apt to state that we hope to expand the project to other states in Nigeria. We are immensely grateful for the immeasurable support from the Danish Embassy in Nigeria, they saw the vision with us and proactively supported the project”.
He said they would start by feeding 1,000 to 2,000 children a day for 65 days, which he said would amount to around 97,500 meals prepared and distributed to target children.
Speaking about other project activities, Umem said, “Within the given time frame, we will introduce the practice of aquaculture in primary schools and organize knowledge transfer seminars targeting around 500 students in the selected schools. The training models would also include impactful vocational training for 30 fish farmers in sustainable food harvesting, 40 teachers in improved school gardening techniques, practicing aquaculture using improved child participation techniques and 30 trained school cooks. improving dietary diversity and nutritional innovation.
Speaking on behalf of the Danish Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. Paul Jacob, expressed his joy that the Embassy was part of the program saying, “It will reiterate our commitment to Nigeria as a nation and to its people”.
“The SF4SM project aims to address the pressing challenge of lack of access to food and poor nutrition among young children. We focused on schools because education through the existing school structure allows learning opportunities for children and also to have access to children for our school feeding program.
“Looking at the model, it reflects a well thought out process that enables the sustainability of the project/programme in line with the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve zero global hunger by 2030. The Danish Embassy in Nigeria sponsored this project as part of our SDG Facility and we would continue to participate and monitor the execution to ensure that the aim and objectives of the program are achieved,” he added.
Akwa Ibom State government officials, pilot schools and community committee members who attended the launch event applauded ACAEDF and the Danish Embassy in Nigeria for initiating the project and promised the necessary support to improve the success of the project.
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