Effect of National Home Growing School Feeding Program (NHGSFP) on the nutritional status of children of rural households in Osun State, Nigeria
The “National Home Growing School Feeding Program” by Nigeria government was designed to overcome malnutrition disorders through regular school-feeding to improve the nutrition status and the education abilities of school children. Hence, this study focused on assessing the effect of ‘national home growing school feeding program’ on the nutritional status of children of rural households in Osun State, Nigeria. Primary data was used for the study. Two stage random sampling was used for the study, the first stage which was the random selection of four (4) rural communities from each of the three (3) Agro-ecological zones present in the state and the second stage was the random sampling of 10 households from each of the selected communities, comprising of households whose children are beneficiaries and not beneficiaries of the program. A total of 120 households were used for the study. A structured questionnaire was used for the purpose of extracting needed information from the respondents. The data collected was analyzed using Descriptive Statistics, Anthropometry, Logistics Regression Model and Chi-square Analysis. Result of analysis revealed that nutritional status of children in the study area is significantly influenced by child’s sex, child’s age, mother’s education, national home growing school feeding program, access to clean water, access to sanitation facilities and household income. The effect of national home growing school feeding program on the nutritional status of the children was statistically significant (chi-square=37.263, p < 0.000) which means the program has positive effect on the nutritional status of children in the study area. The study therefore recommended that government should ensure the sustenance of National Home Growing School Feeding Program especially in the rural areas of the country. Education of the rural women folks should be taken importantly by governments and NGOs as they are the one directly taking care of children wellbeing. Government, NGOs and Community groups should Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Imo State University Owerri also provide the basic amenities like portable water supply and sanitation facilities in the rural areas so as to curb the incidence of diseases and malnutrition.
Keywords: National Home Grown School Feeding Program, Nutritional Status, Health, Malnutrition