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Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP)

Description: 

In an attempt to reduce poverty, the Government of Ghana in collaboration with the Dutch Government started a school feeding program in 2005, known as the Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP).

Four years after the inception of the program, enrolment, attendance and retention have improved appreciably in most schools implementing the program.

There is also an emphasis on using locally grown foodstuffs, with a target to procure at least 80% of food from local communities and smallholder farmers. The current local procurement is standing at slightly less than 20%. For a programme with a strategic focus on boosting agriculture, this forms a serious threat to both the achievement of the goal as well as the sustainability of the programme.

The pilot is a collaborative effort between ACDEP & SNV to link the GSFP supported schools to local/domestic food production. ACDEP is leading this effort supported by funding from SNV. The purpose of the pilot is to test to the management of GSFP a feasible, practical approach to involve all key stakeholders at both the district and community levels in actualizing the dream of smallholder farmers being able to access the GSFP as a viable market for their produce. Hence the need for a collaborative effort to fashion out implementation strategies

Project Goal: 
The overall aim of the program is to contribute to poverty reduction and to reduce food insecurity. Specifically the objectives of the GSFP are to increase enrolment, attendance and retention, reduce hunger and malnutrition and boost domestic food production.
Objectives
  • There is also an emphasis on using locally grown foodstuffs, with a target to procure at least 80% of food from local communities and smallholder farmers.
  • There is also an emphasis on using locally grown foodstuffs, with a target to procure at least 80% of food from local communities and smallholder farmers.
Achievements: 
What exactly is the project doing to achieve these objectives? A total of eleven (11) existing Farmer Based Organisations were mobilised around the pilot project schools via the caterers in the two beneficiary districts. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on sales and purchases were reached and signed by the caterers and FBOs. Caterers are assisted to determine their annual demand and purchase plan as the bases for the procurement of foodstuffs from the FBO. Caterers are gained linked to five (5) financial institutions for credit and enable them purchase the needed quantities from FBOs and stockpile. Farmers and Caterers have also undergone training in group dynamics and basic business skills to sharpen their daily business transactions. If this proves successful ACDEP will be looking to scale this project up across more districts and schools.
Target Group: 
Though the strategy is to purchase foodstuffs directly from farmers in the various communities as a way of linking the GSFP to local food production (as market outlet for farmers), many of the food items are instead purchased from markets outside school communities. While some efforts have been made to procure local food ,the bulk of the food cooked in the schools is brought in. There is the need to strengthen the linkage between GSFP (especially the caterers) and smallholder farmers and also explore the possibilities of localising the menu with what can be produced at the community and district level without compromising the health and nutritional needs of the children.
Beneficiaries: 
The pilot project is focusing on two major stable crops (maize and rice) and in two districts (Savelugu-Nanton and Builsa). The project is targeting a total of four (4) schools with two schools located in each of the project districts.
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