The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) would on Wednesday join other African Union member states to mark the second edition of the Africa Day for SFP.
The event, which would be held with other supporting partners, would be on the theme: “Home Grown School Feeding: Investment in Youth and Children for Harnessing the Demographic Dividend.”
A statement issued by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday reaffirmed government’s commitment towards expanding the programme to cover many more schools in the coming years.
“It is envisaged that in the near future all children in school would be covered under the programme,” it said.
It said since the pilot of the GSFP in 2005 the number of children being fed daily had shot up from 64,775 to 1,728,681 pupils.
These beneficiaries were in 4,988 schools across the 216 districts of the country.
The statement said the programme had, since its inception, contributed to the increment in school enrolment, attendance and retention in beneficiary schools.
It said the programme also contributed to stimulating local agricultural growth by requesting caterers to buy and use foodstuff grown locally from local farmers.
“Another key focus of the Ghana School Feeding Programme is to boost domestic food production,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, it said a draft Agricultural Model was being finalised for implementation and, when completed, would contribute immensely to improve agriculture.
The Ministry commended all partners, including the World Food Programme, SNV, UNICEF, PCD and Hershey for their support towards the running of the programme.
The Africa Day for School Feeding Programme was instituted by heads of state during the AU Summit held in January, 2016.
The Day was in recognition of the tremendous impact of home-grown school feeding on improving enrolment, retention and performance of children in school, as well as in boosting incomes and livelihoods of local communities.
School feeding is the world’s most widespread safety-net programme with more than 370 million children assisted through interventions in 131 countries.