School feeding program through sorghum production
In 2020 OPE secured fund from Tanzania Development Trust (TDT) for promotion of sorghum production among poor families in Shinyanga targeting four groups of women from Busangwa ward Kishapu District. The project was very successful among the four women groups and after their harvesting each group gave back to OPE 30kilograms of sorghum as the way to say thanks. Then we came up with the same project but the targeted areas were Schools within Ng’walukwa ward Shinyanga District Council.
Through the findings we observed increasing cases of school dropouts.
Thus, we came up with the idea of promoting sorghum production in schools. Sensitization meetings were done to create awareness. The target group was teachers, head teachers, Parents, School Management Committee and community members. Five schools with available land in Ng’walukwa ward expressed interest and were chosen for the piloting. The message delivered focused on the importance of having sufficient food at our school that can afford single meal every school day through school feeding programs.
What are we working?
The activity has been piloted in five schools and reached about 1000 students. We are working in collaboration with Ward Agriculture Extension Officer (WAEO), school teachers. In 2021 each school received 30 kilograms of sorghum seed that is enough for planting. The project was also successful and students are provided a daily cup of porridge to help them fight short term hunger, improving school enrollment, promoting regular attendance, concentrate in class, actively participate in classroom activities and lead to improved academic performance.
Support other schools and small scale farmers with quality planting materials for multiplication and facilitate easy access to planting materials to increase production. This will include provision of training on modern sorghum production techniques and to ensure seed availability.
We will conduct follow-ups and monitoring of the schools activities in sorghum conservation and preparation of porridge for the school children.