Government to launch second phase of School Feeding Programme

Government is to launch the second phase of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) to provide meals to pupils in more than 2,000 rural basic schools across the country.

The second phase to be launched early next year is currently being re-designed to ensure that it does not suffer the problems that bedevilled the first phase of the programme.

There is also an on-going evaluation of the first phase to allow for additional inputs to guide the designing of the second phase.

Mr Young Opare, Programme Officer in-charge of Operations at GSFP Secretariat made this known at Dodowa in the Greater Accra where he explained the scope of the programme to stakeholders at a sensitisation forum at Dodowa in the Dangme West on Thursday.

The Ecumenical Association for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (ECASARD) organised the forum with sponsorship from the Netherlands Development Organisation.

It was aimed at building the capacity of key actors involved in the GSFP, which include caterers, farmers, processors, financial institutions, agricultural input dealers to ensure that at least 80 per cent of foodstuffs for the GSFP were purchased from small scale farmers in the communities where the schools were located.

Mr Opare said government was currently negotiating with the Government of the Netherlands, the major sponsor of GSFP, to extend its support for the second phase of the programme.

He said the Secretariat had tasked some civil society organisations to visit beneficiary schools to sensitise the actors and stakeholders of the local implementation committees of the GSFP, which include caterers, farmers, schools, and communities on their complimentary roles to ensure the success of the programme.

Mr Opare said the Secretariat would strengthen its supervisory efforts to ensure that any shortcomings associated with the programme were quickly addressed.

He called on actors and stakeholders to perform their duties in accordance with the rules of the GSFP to ensure realisation of its targets, which included improving food security, increase school enrolment, attendance and retention as well as boost domestic food production and efficiency.

Dr King-David Amoah, National Co-ordinator of ECASARD said the GSFP was a good policy and called on all to play their parts to ensure its sustenance.

Dr Amoah, whose speech was read on her behalf, observed that the target to promote small-scale domestic agriculture production to ensure sustenance of the GSFP was being over-looked and called for measures to reverse the trend.

Meanwhile, ECASARD has developed a model to link farmer based organisations with agriculture input dealers, financial institutions and caterers to enable them benefit from schemes to boost their production as well as have access to ready markets.

Source: GNA

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