HGSF working paper series #2: linking agricultural development to school feeding

HGSF working paper series #2: linking agricultural development to school feeding

Home-grown school feeding (HGSF) approach is conceived of as combining two distinct policy objectives: a social protection objective focused on the health and nutritional status of school-age children, and a focus on the economic and technical transformation of small-scale agriculture. This paper highlights the agricultural development objective and the use of structured demand as a key policy instrument.

The paper demonstrates the complexity of pathways to agricultural transformation associated with the seemingly simple idea of HGSF, exposing possible tensions that may arise in attempting to pursue both market and social objectives in the same initiative.

The authors finds that there are significant coordination and delivery challenges that both state-funded agricultural extension services and NGOs may struggle to meet. Nevertheless, they leave a set of questions open. These include:

  • can the lessons from small and medium enterprises (SME) development be easily transferred to the small farm sector?
  • what are the motivations, benefits and costs of devolution of the management of HGSF programmes to “local” or school level?
  • what are the implications of different procurement models and scales of procurement for the efficient provision of supply-side measures to family farmers?
  • in what situations and contexts, and for what groups of family farmers, is HGSF likely to provide a cost effective vehicle for livelihood transformation?