On 22 November, the minister of Agriculture of Burundi, Dr. Rurema Déo-Guide, visited the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger to discuss the country’s home-grown school feeding policy. The policy is being drafted by the government of Burundi with technical support from the WFP Centre and the WFP country office. According to the minister, the Ministry of Agriculture is ready to support the policy and to strengthen local food production to ensure food supply to school feeding.
In July, a team of experts from the WFP Centre of Excellence went on an assessment mission to Burundi and met various stakeholders to collect their considerations regarding home-grown school feeding. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Education, the government is preparing a multi-sectoral policy, and the integration of the Ministry of Agriculture is essential to ensure the link between school feeding and smallholder agriculture.
At the meeting in Brasília, the Centre shared the most updated draft of the policy with Dr. Déo-Guide. He reiterated his support to the initiative and said that the Ministry will contribute to the elaboration and the implementation of the policy and that it is ready to engage in rural extension initiatives to improve the quality and quantity of local agricultural production. The support to smallholder farmers is essential to ensure the sustainability of the home-grown school feeding initiative.
The draft policy is under review by the government of Burundi. In the first quarter of 2018, the government, and the WFP Centre of Excellence and country office will organize a workshop to refine the policy before sending it to approval by the different ministries involved.