The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison, has announced that the ministry will commit itself to serve only locally produced rice or Ghana rice under the School Feeding Programme because of its high nutritional value as well as helping to boost the local economy.
She said the programme, which was giving employment to many women and increasing children’s interest in school would prioritise the serving of local and nutritious dishes in 2020.
She said as part of efforts to ensure that no child was deprived of the right to education because of lack of food, plans were being put in place to replicate the programme nationwide.
Ms Morrison said it had come to the ministry’s attention that children preferred to be in schools that were beneficiaries of the programme and, therefore, some had to walk miles to access such schools.
The Gender Minister mentioned that beneficiary pupils under the Ghana School Feeding Programme have increased from 1,671,777 in 2017 to 2,939,555 in 2019 and this is as a result of the programme’s expansion in 2018 to cover more public, primary and Kindergarten schools in deprived communities both in the rural and urban areas.
She said the expansion of the programmes resulted in schools’ coverage from 5,682 beneficiary schools in 2017 to 9162 in 2019.
She said in addressing unemployment issues, the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) has created direct jobs for women and it has increased enrolment in the beneficiary schools.
According to her, the use of locally grown foodstuffs creates a ready market for our local producers and the progamme is supplying locally produced rice, soy chunks amongst others to contracted caterers through the National Buffer stock.
She also said that efforts were in place to sustain and expand the ministry’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme due to its positive impact on the people.
This came up during day two of the results fair in Accra on Wednesday, January 15th, 2020