Mrs Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser to President on National Social Welfare Programme and delegates from Democratic Republic of Congo were in a programme on Monday.
Mrs Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser to the president on National Social Welfare Programme on Monday says Federal Government feeds pupils with over 6million eggs and 594 cows weekly under its School Feeding Programme.
Uwais revealed this in Abuja, when she received a designation from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on a study trip of Nigeria to learn from the social involvement programmes in the country.
She also noted that 9 million children are currently being fed under the programme in 26 states as a way of inspiring schools enrolment.
She further noted that the programme had formed a value chain in the agricultural sector and as such led to the employment of Nigerians thus creating market for agriculture.
“Presently, each child eats at least an egg in a day, adding up to 6.8million eggs being disbursed weekly by children under the programme in just 26 states.
“So, the poultry farmers are now doing so much to provide eggs for the schools because every meal is a balanced diet and every child must have at least one egg.
“We need to butcher 594 cows every week for the pupils and 83 metric tonnes of fish is used up weekly in just 26 states.
“Farmers are increasing and demanding for rice meals now because they are saying; I was cultivating 20 bags but because of the programme, I now provide more so I need a rice meal.’’
Uwais said that farmers were now calling on the government to support them to engage in mechanical farming.
She added that the programme was been helpful to the agricultural sector, by providing markets while women were also being hired as cooks and they in turn employ others.
“The cooks are employing people to wash and serve in class rooms, so imagine a child being fed and the cook is the mother while the father is a farmer that provides the food stuff, ” she said.
The Programme Manager Mrs Adesanmi Abimbola, National Home Grown School Feeding Programme said 95,000 cooks had been employed so far.
Abimbola said machines had been put in place for the maintenance of quality standard, adding that the cooks were all trained on hygiene.
She said the programme was developing agriculture while nourishing the young minds and keeping them in school.
She also said that the programme had been running for three years now, adding that efforts had been put in pace for its sustainability and accountability even at the end of the administration.
Chief of Staff, Ministry of Social Affairs, DRC and head of the delegation Mr John Mugabushaka said, they were sent by the DRC government on an knowledge sharing trip.
“We have been sent by our Ministry of Social Affairs through the DRC government with the purpose of learning how Nigeria runs its social programme,’’ he said.
Mugabushaka further explained that the reason of the visit was to learn from the way Nigeria runs its social programme with a view to include it in the DRC, adding that so far, they have learnt a lot.