The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has said it is distributing food to caterers under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) across the country.
The items rice, cooking oil, tinned tomatoes and texturised Soy Protein (TSP) have been sourced from local farmers and produced by local companies.
According to the Ministry, 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 the GSFP and pay back when the Government releases their payment.
The distribution which began on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, in some regions was a result of an agreement the Ministry reached with the National Buffer Stock Company Limited for the supply of these items.
According to the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison, the food supply is ultimately meant to relieve the caterers from the huge financial burden involved in pre-financing or procuring food items for the preparation of meals for the school children.
Caterers used to procure food items by themselves from different suppliers and markets at different prices which accounted for over 80% of their total income.
“With this initiative, all that the caterers need to do is to just buy a few local ingredients and they are good to go to the kitchen satisfactorily,” the Minister emphasised.
Cynthia Morrison is confident that the food supply will be sustainable, as a result of Government’s Planting for Food and Jobs initiative and the high agricultural productivity by smallholder farmers in the districts.
She disclosed that she will personally join forces with the Management of Ghana School Feeding Programme to monitor the distribution of the items to ensure the caterers do not abuse the opportunity by selling out the food items for personal benefit.
She further expressed her profound 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.
A statement issued by the MoGCSP dated January 14, 2020, requested all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to offer the needed cooperation for the smooth implementation of the initiative.