As part of measures to sustain the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has indicated that it plans to embark on a 30percent expansion of the programme, which will increase the enrolment on the programme to 2.1m from an initial 1.7m.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament to answer questions on measures being put in place to sustain the programme, the sector Minister, Otiko Djaba, explained that the ministry is working on the development of an appropriate legal framework to establish an agency or authority to secure the gains.
This, she said, will ensure the availability of reliable and consistent funds, with the view to position the school feeding programme as a vehicle for reducing poverty and hunger and increasing national development.
She also stated that the ministry has facilitated the payment, so far, of GH₵210m for the programme.
Additionally, she said the Ministry of Finance has provided GH₵100m for the programme, which will cover additional 44 days of the 2nd term.
One key challenge facing the programme is funding and the minister noted that the ministry has been working hard through the Ministry of Finance for timely, regular flow of funds.
“The Ministry is collaborating with some private organisations and civil society groups, through a Public-Private Partnership, to continue to support this programme.
Feeding our children is very important and as part of corporate social responsibility, we welcome contributions and support from corporate entities like Unilever, Ghana Lotteries, MASLOC, GETFUND and local authorities”.
Monitoring and Evaluation, she said, is also a critical component to the sustainability of the programme, and that the ministry is determined to improve routine monitoring for timely and corrective action to assess processes and application of resources.
The ministry is also working with development partners to enhance the capacity of staff and caterers to enable them perform at their maximum capacity under healthier, nutritious and environmentally acceptable standards.
From the inception of GSFP, the use of local foodstuff or home-grown produce from the vicinity of the consuming children was preferred, the minister added.
“We are pleased to say that under the leadership of the President, the government’s initiative of Planting for Food and Jobs, One District-One Factory and One District One Warehouse would provide the intermediate facilities needed to link the Ghana School Feeding Programme to Agriculture”.