Teaming up to make a difference for a sustainable future
Helping smallholders in Africa to bolster their market access while providing children with nourishing daily school meals? That sounds like a winning combination. Rabobank Foundation and Mastercard have teamed up with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations’ World Food Programme to do just that. From 2018 school meals will be produced and consumed locally in Kenya and Rwanda. With a total investment of €500.000 that’s a wonderful prospect for the start of the new year.
Rabobank Foundation and the FAO have enjoyed a fruitful partnership since 2013. Their joint aim is to improve the position and income of small-scale farmers in developing countries. This mission is also supported through an earlier initiative of the World Food Programme in which Rabobank and others are involved. Produce for local consumption – such as maize, beans or lentils – can be purchased via a market platform. The platform, already operational in Rwanda, will be open to 1.5 million farmers in 25 African countries.
School meals facilitate educational participation. After all, a daily school meal is a strong incentive for families to send their children to school. In Rwanda and Kenya, among other countries, the World Food Programme uses crops produced by local smallholders to prepare the school meals. In this way, these school meals not only enhance children’s health and educational attainment but also generate clear local economic returns in the longer term.
This summer Mastercard and the WFP launched the “100 Million Meals” initiative, aimed at breaking the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. This initiative is a step in the right direction and represents a significant contribution to meeting their aims. Only together can we grow a better world!