Caterers who provide food for school children under the Ghana School Feeding Programme will soon receive training on how to cook nutritious meals with less cost and waste, according to the National Coordinator of the Programme, Madam Gertrude Quashigah.
She made this announcement at a workshop on the ‘Dissemination of Landscape Analysis Report on Rice Fortification,’ which aimed to share the findings of a comprehensive report on how to enhance the nutritional value of school meals through rice fortification.
Rice fortification is the process of adding essential vitamins and minerals to rice kernels, which can help address micronutrient deficiencies in rice-eating populations. Rice is a staple food for more than half of the global population, providing more than 20% of the world’s calorie intake.
The workshop was part of a two-and-a-half-year project by the World Food Programme, with funding support from the Rockefeller Foundation and Royal DSM, to improve the nutritional needs of school children through the Ghana School Feeding Programme.
The project also supports the Government’s efforts to boost local production of rice by enhancing the capacity of 5,000 smallholder farmers and 10 rice millers.
Madam Quashigah said that although the caterers needed an increment from GH₵1.00 they received per child head to GH₵1.20 pesewas, which they had recently agreed on, they could still cook nutritious meals for the school children with the current amount.
She added that the training would be certificated and would help them to assess and improve their work.
Madam Patience Asiedu, Head of Nutrition, World Food Programme (WFP) Accra, said that under the project, caterers and cooks would be trained to cook nutritional meals for the school children.
The Ghana School Feeding Programme is an intervention by the Government of Ghana, which started in 2005 to provide food to children in public basic schools from kindergarten to primary six.
The Programme aims to increase school enrolment, attendance and retention, reduce short-term hunger and malnutrition and boost domestic food production.
The Programme has 3,801,491 beneficiary pupils, 34,350 cooks and caterers and covers 10,832 public basic schools nationwide.