SNV’s Procurement Governance for Home Grown School Feeding project announces a new publication on preparing school feeding suppliers, particularly smallholder farmers and their organizations, to be competitive suppliers to the school feeding market.


The governments of Ghana, Kenya, and Mali implement Home Grown School Feeding programmes – school meals programmes with a mandate to source the ingredients for school meals locally. They see the potential for public spending on school feeding to have a double benefit: providing nutritious meals to school children while also providing a source of income for smallholder farmers in their communities.

However, when SNV’s Procurement Governance for Home Grown School Feeding project began, the school feeding programmes in in each country were sourcing minimal amounts of food from smallholder farmers. Primary food suppliers were traders and caterers, who were not required to document the origin of their food purchases.

Supplier Development

Having a programmatic mandate to source locally was not enough to fulfil the agricultural objective of the Home Grown School Feeding programme. Potential suppliers needed to learn how the school feeding market worked, what quantities and quality of goods were required, and how to establish partnerships to sell to school feeding buyers.

SNV initiated supplier development activities to equip farmers with the knowledge and skills needed to be competitive suppliers to Home Grown School Feeding programmes. SNV used four approaches – matchmaking and market intelligence; business training; technical and logistical capacity; and facilitating financial services – to include smallholder farmers and their organisations in the supply chain. Activities conducted through these approaches also built the capacity of existing school feeding suppliers (caterers and traders) to source from smallholder farmers in an evidenced way.

The project’s supplier development activities generated substantive participation of Home Grown School Feeding supply chain stakeholders: procurement entities and those overseeing them at the national, district, and local level as well as other government ministries, civil society organisations, development partners, private sector institutions, and financial service providers such as banks.

About the publication

In Supplier Development for Inclusive School Feeding Procurement, SNV presents the supplier development approaches used in the Procurement Governance for Home Grown School Feeding project and the results these approaches had on smallholder farmer inclusion in the school feeding supply chain. SNV suggests that an integrated, cross-cutting approach—one involving all relevant government, private sector, and civil society stakeholders—creates a supportive enabling environment for ongoing supplier development. The document is designed to equip development practitioners and policymakers with ideas for using supplier development activities to improve smallholder farmer inclusion in school feeding supply chains.

Download Supplier Development for Inclusive School Feeding Procurement and learn more about the Procurement Governance for Home Grown School Feeding (PG-HGSF) project.