–Eastern Province World Food Programme (WFP) Nutritionist, Kebby Mutale, says the World Food Program wants to empower local communities through the School Feeding Program initiative.
Mr Mutale said the World Food Program has changed its criteria of sourcing food meant to feed school-going children from importing to local supply.
He explained that instead of importing foodstuffs form outside the districts or foreign country the World Food Program will now buy all foodstuffs from local communities.
He was speaking during a consultative meeting held in Katete today with cooperatives, suppliers and government departments.
Mr Mutale said the program wants to promote production of food and further improve the income levels of families that will be supplying to schools in the district.
He noted that by doing so the program will encourage farmers to engage in crop diversification in order to meet the demand by the schools.
Mr Mutale said pupils will now have a more diverse food menu to meet their nutritional needs.
He explained that instead of having the usual maize and cow-peas World Food Program wants to ensure that pupils are fed on a variety of foodstuffs grown locally.
He added that the program is currently working on modalities of payments for suppliers as schools will be in charge of buying food within the communities.
Mr Mutale noted that the essence of the program is meant at improving learner performance and further empower local communities within which children come from.
Meanwhile, six Lusaka businessmen yesterday pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of 120 logs of Mukula tree species.
The six, who appeared before Katete Magistrate Mary Musongole, were charged with an offence of unlawful possession of biological resources contrary to Section 120 (b) of the Environmental and Management Act number 12 of 2011.
It is alleged that on July 21 this year, at Sinda, Maxwell Sakala, Samilani Zulu, Aularian Sakala, Derrick Phiri, Derrick Hantumbu and Sibongile Simwanza, all Lusaka residents, had in possession of biological resources namely 120 logs of Mukula tree without a license issued as required by law.
The six will appear in court on August 20 for commencement of trial.