Stakeholders in nutrition have expressed concern about the influx of foreign and fast-foods on the Ghanaian market.
According to the stakeholders, this makes it difficult to promote nutritious and indigenous foods.
They, therefore, want the government to diversify resources into the promotion of local foodstuff such as fonio, sorghum and yams.
These concerns were raised at a forum in Tamale in the Northern Region.
The event was organized by AMAATI Company Limited, a social enterprise that promotes sustainable food production and consumption in collaboration with the Northern Regional Health Directorate on the theme “Sustainable Food for All; The Role of Nutritionists and Dieticians.”
In an interview with Citi News on the sidelines of the workshop, the Grant Coordinator at the West African Centre for Water, Irrigation and Sustainable Agriculture of the University for Development Studies, Professor Saa Dittoh, said Agriculture scientists need to promote and improve on what the smallholder farmers are producing rather than trying to replace it.
“We need to improve the crop in terms of scientific knowledge. We have to improve on what the people already know because anytime we try to replace what they already know, it doesn’t work but when we improve on it, it works.”
He further called on development partners to invest in promoting nutrient-rich food crops produced by smallholder farmers.
“They are spending money on things that are already common, rice maize soybeans, why can’t they spend some of these monies in promoting nutrient-rich foods because that is the thing that will improve the nutrition of the people,” he said
The Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AMAATI Company Limited, Salma Abdulai, urged stakeholders to invest in foods that will not degrade the environment.
“Most people are not concerned about the environment, they are concerned about what they eat alone.”
She said the rationale behind the workshop is to bring together nutritionists, dietitians and individuals in the food chain concern about sustainable consumption to deliberate on how to source food in a sustainable way, taking into consideration of the next generation.
According to her, that is why her the company is promoting the consumption of fonio, a food crop which has no adverse effect on the environment.
“We are promoting the production of fonio because apart from it growing in just eight weeks, it also adds nutrients to the soil, so when you grow this crop for two years, you can grow any other crop you want on the same land.”
The Northern Regional Nutrition Officer, Hajia Azara Amadu, said her outfit will continue to engage the public on the need to consume nutritious food, as well as grow them to ensure the sustainability of the foods.