UMFSNP School Demonstration Gardens
Reason for the Standard Operating Procedures
The 2019/20 budget speech called on the Ministries responsible for health, agriculture, education and gender to step up key coordinated actions and sustainably improve the nutrition situation in Uganda. Key among the recommended actions was the setting up of vegetable gardens in all schools in the country to provide practical nutrition education and training for school going children and the youth.
To ensure consumption of adequate and diversified nutritious foods, the process starts with agriculture production and its recommended practices necessary to increase food production for improved household food and nutrition security.
In addition, Nutrition education provides a basis for enhancing communities’ knowledge and awareness on good nutrition hence creating demand for production and consumption of diversified nutritious foods.
However, without adequate regular household income flows, this demand for diversified, nutritious food is not sustainable. Other actions for improved nutrition include all those under the health sector that ensure good health and well-being of the population.
Clearly therefore, the process for ensuring household food and nutrition security calls for a multi-sectoral approach.
In this connection, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) as a lead sector along with the Ministries of Health (MoH), Education and Sports (MoES), Local Government (MoLG) and District Local Governments are implementing a five-year Uganda Multi-Sectoral Food Security and Nutrition Project (UMFSNP).
The Project Development Objective is to increase production and consumption of micronutrient–rich foods and utilization of community based nutrition services in smallholder households in project areas using universal primary education (UPE) schools as a key entry point to the community.
Every school is supported to establish and maintain a nutrition sensitive school demonstration garden. Priority nutritious crops promoted by the project include; Iron Rich Beans (IRB), Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP), and micronutrient rich fruits and vegetables.
The purpose of this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is to provide a national tool to guide all schools in establishing and maintaining school demonstration gardens. The information in the SOP along with accompanying literature that has been developed to support its use will facilitate the setting up of standard nutrition sensitive school gardens countrywide. This will promote practical learning to the school-going children, demonstrate different technologies of growing micronutrient rich crops and demonstrate to school going children and communities surrounding schools how to have year round production of diverse food products for improved household nutrition and healthy living.
These school demonstration gardens if well utilized will go a long way in creating youth champions for agriculture, food and nutrition security. Download here