The National Coordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), Dr Mrs Gertrude Quashigah, has said that the government is committed to providing nutritiously balanced meal for pupils benefiting from the feeding programme.
She said provision of nutritious meal is essential and remains the topmost priority of the GSFP and the Government of Ghana.
She indicated that good meal does not only make children healthier and happier, but also improves their cognitive learning capacities.
Dr Mrs Quashigah said these when she addressed stakeholders at the official launch of the ‘Go For Soya Chunks’ campaign in Accra.
It was organised by the American Soybean Association and the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) in collaboration with the YEDENT Agro Group of Companies.
The event was to promote the Texturised Soya Protein (TSP), also known as Soya Chunk, produced in Ghana from locally produced soya as the alternative source of protein for school and household meal preparation.
Dr Mrs Quashigah, who is a renowned international nutrition expert, is credited for her visionary leadership in adopting the use of the Texturised Soya Protein in 2019 as an affordable and nutritious plant source with high protein for the preparation of school meals by the GSFP caterers.
She subsequently came out with the novel practical Nutrition and Innovation Training for GSFP Caterers with the support of the World Food Programme and technical support from the YEDENT Agro Group of Companies, Partnership for Child Development (PCD) and Women In Agricultural Development (WIAD) in 2019.
According to the National Coordinator of GSFP, her outfit embraced the TSP and made a strong recommendation for all caterers of the programme to adopt because she knew the enormous benefits the TSP/Soya Chunk could offer to the life and development of the school children.
The TSP/Soya Chuck is an excellent source of high-quality protein which is rich in vitamins, minerals, insoluble fibre, and essential amino acids among others.
She, therefore, appealed to the YEDENT Agro Group of Companies, producers of the Soya Chunks to make them available and accessible in all the districts nationwide for caterers and households.
Seth Offei, Programme Officer-Agriculture at the Ghana School Feeding Programme, also made a presentation on Scientific and Technical Information on Texturised Soya Protein/Soya Chunks.
He said that the TSP/Soya Chunks can be incorporated into variety of foods such as soups, stews, sauces, salads and gravies etc.
Mr Offei noted that apart from its high-quality protein, the Soya Chunk is more affordable and easier to prepare than red meat.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of YEDENT Agro Group of Companies, Samuel Ntim Adu, said his company is the supply chain partner of WISHH in Ghana ensuring that soya is promoted and consumed by all.
He said that the value of the soya chunk cannot be quantified; it is the most affordable protein alternative; it has more protein than egg, beef and chicken; it is healthier, it does not contain cholesterol, it swears when added to food and can feed masses.
Encouraging more Ghanaians to consume the product, the YEDENT CEO indicated that more consumption of the soya chunk means more employment and more money for local soya farmers in the north and other regions.
Mr Adu said that the ‘Go for Soya Chunks’ campaign will run from now till December 2021 with some regional durbars, soya festivals, meeting of schools and cooking competitions in market places etc.