Municipalities procuring from smallholder farmers awarded at Mali’s National Learning Event
In January 2015, PG-HGSF’s National Learning Event in Mali brought together over 75 participants. These participants included representatives from the Ministry of Education, National Centre for School Canteens (CNCS), and the Ministry of Finance as well as international partners such as the Partnership for Childhood Development, the World Food Program, Catholic Relief Services and the Millennium Village Project.
During the Mali National Learning Event, participants discussed various initiatives to strengthen the sustainability efforts of school feeding through sharing their challenges and good practices related to funding, involving communities and working with CNCS.
The two-day event was filled with presentations from the SNV PG-HGSF teams from Mali and Ghana and other key organisations, videos, panels and roundtable discussions around the three main discussion topics: access to funds for school feeding, community contributions to school canteens and the involvement of smallholder farmers in the supply to those canteens.
In addition to the presentations and experiences shared during the event, two municipalities, known as communes in Mali, were recognised with PG-HGSF Mali’s inaugural “best commune” prize. The prize recognises communes that participate actively in school feeding activities and supply their schools with the greatest percentage of products from local farmers. This year’s winners were the communes of Siadougou, located in Yangasso, and Fallou, located in Kolokani. The prize money will enable each commune to make a modest improvement to their school canteens through a product or service such as an improved cook stove or kitchen tools.
The Mali National Learning Event was the first annual opportunity of its kind for school feeding actors to connect and share their collective issues, successes and concerns. SNV and partners expressed hope that connections fostered during the event will yield greater collaboration between all actors involved in school feeding in Mali.