The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has started distributing food items to caterers under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) across the country.
The items include; Ghana Rice (50kg), Cooking Oil (25 litres), Tin Tomatoes and Texturized Soy Protein (TSP), which are all sourced from local farmers and processed by local companies.
The caterers will no longer have to contract huge loans from the banks to pre-finance the cooking, but will receive the food items on credit from GSFP and pay back only when Government releases their payment.
A statement from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday said the distribution which began on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 in some regions was as a result of an agreement the Ministry reached with the National Buffer Stock Company Limited for the supply of the items.
It quoted, Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison, the Gender Minister as saying the food supply was meant to relieve the Caterers from the huge financial burdens involved in pre-financing or procuring food items for the preparation of meals for the school children.
She said the Caterers, hitherto, used to procure food items by themselves from different suppliers and markets at different prices, which accounted for over 80 per cent of their total income.
The Minister expressed her appreciation to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Buffer Stock Company Limited, Mr. Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba for making the initiative a reality.
The statement requested all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to offer the needed cooperation for the smooth implementation of the initiative.
Mrs Cynthia Morrison said, the distribution of the food items was to prepare wholesome foods for the school children, and fulfill government’s promise to encourage the consumption of locally produced foods; create jobs for women in the local communities; boost agricultural production; reduce poverty among local farmers and increase income at the district level among others.
She said the distribution of the food items was likely to increase school enrollment and retention; and to ultimately meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
“It will also eliminate the inconsistencies in cooking on school going days by some caterers due to insufficient funds and sometimes shortage of food items.
“With this initiative, all that the caterers need to do is to buy a few ingredients and they are good to go to the kitchen satisfactorily.”
Mrs Cynthia Morrison was confident that the food supply will be sustainable, because of Planting for Food and Jobs initiative and the high productivity by smallholder farmers in the districts.
The statement said the Minister would join forces with the Management of Ghana School Feeding Programme to monitor the distribution of the items to avoid abuse.