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Home-grown school feeding: promoting local production systems diversification through nutrition sensitive agriculture

Samrat Singh () and Meenakshi Fernandes
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Samrat Singh: Imperial College London
Meenakshi Fernandes: Imperial College London

Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, 2018, vol. 10, issue 1, 111-119

Abstract: Abstract The consumption of some non-staple crops such as legumes and dark, green leafy vegetables can address common deficiencies in key nutrients such as vitamin A and iron; however, limited markets and supply chain development impede their production and accessibility to consumers. This study investigates the pathways to promote agricultural production and dietary diversity for a local market intervention called Home-Grown School Feeding (HGSF). School feeding menus from 24 districts across 10 regions in Ghana during the 2014–15 school year were analysed in terms of food groups and several individual foods. The menus were then compared with food groups produced by households during the past year or consumed in the past seven days using data collected from a household survey. Greater inter-food group diversity in the menus was associated with higher production levels for tubers and dark, leafy green vegetables in the South and cereals in the North. A correspondence between the frequency in which a food group appeared in a menu and the share of households who consumed foods from the food group was also noted. Key issues, such as optimizing supply chains, enabling farm linkages and supporting diverse nutrient rich food groups, that underlie the success of Home-Grown School Feeding and other agricultural policies with similar goals of promoting production and dietary diversity are highlighted through commodity specific examples. The findings of this study may help strengthen operational linkages between agriculture production and nutrition for HGSF and other similar interventions.

Keywords: Production diversity; Dietary diversity; Sustainable food systems; Policy approaches; Structured demand; Sub-Saharan Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0760-5