ECASARD and GSFP interact with stakeholders of feeding programme
5/1/2012 8:30:24 AM -
Akim Oda (E/R), May 1, GNA - A meeting to review and harmonize the system of purchasing foodstuffs for the various Ghana Schools Feeding Programme (GSFP) has ended at Akim Oda in the Eastern Region.
The aim is to draw on the best practices and standardize the operations and management of the GSFP, in the purchases of food items by the caterers from small scale businesses.
It was also a programme outlined for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the organizers, The Ecumenical Association for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (ECASARD), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and stakeholders of the GSFP.
Briefing the meeting at the Birim Central Municipal Assembly hall, Dr King David Amoah, National Co-ordinating Director of the NGO, said that there was the need to link caterers of the feeding programme who are also the purchasers with the small scale farmers in the rural areas where the GSFP are located.
Dr Amoah explained that doing business directly with farmers, would enable the caterers have fresh food crops at a reduced cost, while the farmers would also not transport their produce from their communities to sell in the urban centres, adding that this would help boost eating what is grown in a particular community instead of chasing foreign food items.
Dr Amoah appealed to the key stakeholders - MOFA, GSFP caterers and farmers associations - in the Birim Central Municipality and the Birim South District Assembly, to help sustain the programme.
He stressed that competitiveness is a long-term undertaking that requires sustained commitment from government, MOFA, caterers and farmers.
Dr Amoah said 'basic education must be a top priority', adding that it is the foundation stone on which everything else relies and that special attention should be given to the GSFP.
Mr Ernest Biney, Programme Manager of ECASARD, told the meeting, to campaign for parents to send their children to school and give them the best education, to enable them become responsible citizens who would contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
Mr Biney charged the beneficiary school children of the programme to take their studies more seriously, so as to become resourceful citizens in future.
ECASARD later signed MOU, to ensure that caterers of the GSFP buy directly from local farmers.