The National Coordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), Seidu Paakunna Adamu has stated that the long term objective of the GSFP Programme is to contribute to poverty reduction and food security in the country. He however said over the years the impact of the programme in achieving its long term objectives is not being felt at the beneficiary districts and communities. Mr. Adamu was speaking at a Regional Sensitization and Consultation workshop for key stakeholders in the Brong-Ahafo region. Among its aims are addressing the challenges of the programme at the regional, district and community levels in the Region. He mentioned regular changing of schedule officers, non-functioning of districts and school implementation committees as well as lack of community participation and ownership as some of the challenges facing the programme. According to Adamu the workshop will help strengthen the operational and delivery capacity of its staff and enhance its effectiveness. He noted that the programme will extend the fee currently being paid from 50 pesewas to 80 pesewas for each child, starting from next term. The participants include Regional Directors of Education, Health and Agriculture, MMDCEs, District Desk Officers of GSFP, District Directors of Education among others. The deputy Brong-Ahafo regional Minister, Justice Samuel Adjei described the programme as a tool to reduce short term hunger and malnutrition, increase school enrolment, attendance and retention as well as boost domestic food production in the country. He said the programme was established in September, 2005, to provide children in public primary schools including kindergartens in the poorest communities one hot, nutritious meal per school going day, using locally-grown foodstuffs. Mr. Adjei called on the stakeholders to contribute effectively to help address the challenges facing the programme in the region and the country as a whole. The Deputy Regional Minister thanked GSFP Secretariat and other organizers for making the programme successful.
Sourece: Biiya Mukusah Ali/http://newspaper.developghana.com