Director of Crops at the Yilo Krobo office of the Department of Agric, Mr. Francis Nii Clottey has disclosed to Rite News, a new policy towards enhancing the purchasing of foodstuffs by the Ghana School Feeding Program, GSFP from farmers is currently underway.
According to Mr. Clottey, the policy when implemented will see the various coordinators of the school feeding program making direct purchases from local Farmer-Based Organizations to run the program.
One of the objectives of the GSFP is to enhance the livelihood of the small scale farmer within the beneficiary communities. Previous surveys have indicated that this has not been achieved and most farmers are not even aware of its implications.
The move, according to Mr. Clottey is part of government’s drive towards empowering local farmers, adding that an oversight committee formed to oversee the implementation of the school feeding project has a District Agric Director on board to oversee the implementation of the policy.
The Agric Director made the disclosure during Rite FM’s ‘One District, One RAF’ program held at the conference room of the Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly on Friday.
The program which was held at the premises of the Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly was intended to create a conducive stage to provide the grounds for relevant contributions for the development of agriculture in the respective districts.
According to Mr. Clottey, buying the produce directly from the farmer groups will come with a number of advantages to both the farmers and the school feeding program.
“Because the produce will be bought directly from the farmers, they come fresh and also creates market for the farmers,” he said.
Mr. Clottey said a special school feeding committee formed for this purpose was in the process of registering various FBOs for the supply of various farm produce for the program, adding that this will create direct markets for the various FBOs.
The Agric Director added that local farmers are advantaged with the impending policy and expressed optimism that this will go a long way in creating market for the farmers.
He added that foodstuffs for the program can only be bought outside a particular district if farmers are unable to meet the demands of the program or if the required foodstuffs are not available in the district in question.
The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) commenced in 2005 with the intermediate objective of reducing hunger and malnutrition; increasing school enrollment, retention and attendance and to boost local food production.
The GSFP which is an initiative under the comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Pillar 3 seeks to enhance food security and reduce hunger in line with the UN-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).