school feeding
school feeding

The Zimbabwe government will spend 18.5 million U.S. dollars in 2017 to provide supplementary food to pupils under the national school feeding scheme introduced last year, a cabinet minister said Thursday.

Initially, the government introduced the feeding scheme at infant level up to Grade Two but last month expanded it up to Grade Seven after concerns were raised over the high number of children who were dropping out of school due to hunger in some parts of the country.

“The calculation of the component of grain requirement to the end of term in December 2017 stands at approximately 18.5 million dollars,” Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora was quoted as saying by state-run news agency New Ziana.

The minister said communities were expected to chip in and provide counterpart support in the form of relish.

Plans were also afoot to introduce the feeding program to secondary schools by May next year, he said.

“In the meantime, we are capacitating every rural day school with at least a borehole, a one hectare drip irrigation plot and some solar panels as part of our Public Private Partnership efforts in the sector,” he said.

He said the program was being implemented in both rural and urban schools to benefit all pupils in the country.

Zimbabwe last year experienced one of its worst droughts in recent years which left a quarter of the rural population in need of food aid.

However, good rains this year resulted in the country producing a bumper maize harvest of 2.1 million tonnes, more than the national requirement of 1.8 million tonnes. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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