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Skip Navigation LinksHome Home Grown School Feeding

Home Grown School Feeding

Boy with school lunch in Kenya

​​​​​​​​​A key part of the Partnership for Child Development's work is the Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) initiative - which supports government action to deliver cost effective locally sourced school feeding programmes. ​

A social safety net

The current food, fuel and financial crises have highlighted the importance of school feeding programmes, both as a social safety net for children living in poverty and food insecurity, and as part of national educational policies and plans. Appropriately designed school feeding programmes have been shown to increase access to education and learning, and improve children’s health and nutrition​, especially when integrated into comprehensive School Health and Nutrition programmes.

School feeding programmes also provide an opportunity to benefit local farmers, producers and processors by generating a stable, structured, and predictable demand for their products, thereby building the market and benefiting the wider local economy.

Engendering national and local ownership

HGSF provides direct, evidence-based and context-specific support to governments to design and manage school feeding programmes sourced with local agricultural production. 

Part of PCD's work on the HGSF initiative is to examine country readiness and key operational trade-offs, benchmarks, and good practice​ on how HGSF can most effectively stimulate local agricultural production, boost local and regional food production and create jobs and profit-making opportunities in rural communities.   

HGSF is based on the ​New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)’s vision for nationally owned, sustainable programmes aimed at improving smallholder farmers' food security and the initiative was initially launched in 2003 when NEPAD began its HGSF pilot programme.  

PCD is currently working on the following areas within the HGSF initiative:

  • Improving smallholder farmer​ income through structuring market demand from HGSF programmes
  • Improving nutritional status, nutrition quality and quantity amongst smallholder farmer produce
  • Improving education, health and nutrition of school age children through sustainable and cost-effective school feeding programmes

The in-country demand for smallholder production for local school meals has so far translated into sustainable, nationally-owned, cost-effective HGSF programmes (implemented to varying degrees) in the following countries: Ethiopia, Mali, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Find out more about HGSF at ​

Key Resources 

​HGSF Working Papers ​