A book entitled, ‘Ghana School Feeding for Rural Poverty Reduction’ has been launched in Accra with a call on stakeholders to join forces in sustaining the programme.
The book, authored by Dr. Alexander Kwame Archine, serves as an advocacy manual, providing detailed insights into the achievements and challenges of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP).
The book recommends innovative strategies for supporting government efforts for, not only attracting and retaining children in school, but also leveraging the economic transformative potentials of the programme.
Notable findings in the book affirm the GSFP as a potential tool for addressing the twin challenges of low literacy and poverty, particularly in rural Ghana.
The reviewer, Dr. Emelia Ethel Timpo, highlighted the various opportunities and challenges which the book discusses and how it can readily be managed.
“Farmers, having lost out on access to hitherto designated farmlands to real estate developers, have had no choice but to relocate their farms to distant farmlands thus, adding onto the cost of food production. Having recognized this challenge, the author recommends the commitment of local community leaders to make farmlands available for growing food, at relatively affordable price for the programme’s participating schools,” Dr. Timpo disclosed.
Launching the book, the National Coordinator for the GSFP, Dr. Kwame Adu Nsiah, said, “having read the book, I am very delighted that, one of our very own, has dedicated his time passionately to research about the programme. It is also refreshing to note that the programme has increased the enrolment figures in basic schools in both rural and urban areas.”
He said the Ministry for Gender Children and Social Protection is working fervently towards developing appropriate legal framework to establish an agency or authority to secure the gains and ensure reliable and consistent funds and to position the school feeding initiative as a driver for national development.
“It is only when this is achieved that we will be in the position to achieve sustainability in the poverty reduction gains of this programme. The school feeding programme outfit is determined to improve its monitoring activities for effective results at the various levels,” he indicated.
Dr. Adu, however explained that the GSFP will leverage on capacity building with development partners to enhance the knowledge of staff and caterers to enable them perform at their maximum capacity under healthier and environmentally acceptable standards.
Dr. Alexander Archine, said the purpose of the book is to create awareness for leaders at all levels on the need to join forces in addressing identified challenges that limit the attainment of socioeconomic outcomes envisioned by the GSFP promoters.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe