Operation "Feed your School"
Ghana School Farms Project is aim at achieving Food Security, Employment and Education Goal. It’s an innovative idea aimed at driving local “agropreneurship” through it “I’m a Farmer” Advocacy Campaign.
Ghana School Farms is a project of Reach Out to Future Leaders Movement (ROFLM). The project primarily aims at working toward food security through the educational system. “It will not only help keep students in school who are currently attending, but also can increase accessibility to education for those who are not in school.” The success of this project will contribute to Achieving Universal Primary Education (MDG 2) and Eradicating Extreme Hunger and Poverty (MDG 1).
Over the last two years, most public senior high schools in the three northern regions of Ghana experienced closure due to the unavailability of food to feed the students.
This situation was blamed on the unavailability of feeding grants and also the delay in the release of feeding grants by government.
In the quest to improve access to primary education, the Government of Ghana introduced the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) to enable the ordinary Ghanaian to have access to quality basic education at little or no cost. Subsequently, the government introduced a highly subsidized senior high school education to make it more attractive and accessible to Ghanaians.
One of the components in the subsidy package is a highly subsidized feeding grant. The commencement of this grant was promising but later turned out to be a difficult scheme to sustain hence making the goal still unrealized.
Most of the government’s public senior high schools operate on a boarding system, which means the students are accommodated and fed by the schools. Due to the limited number of senior high schools, the boarding system helps students to access schools which are far from their communities of residence.
The boarding system also creates the space where young people are morally, psychologically, and spiritually prepared for the future, and creates a platform for cross-cultural relationship building.
It is therefore important to note that the challenges facing the school feeding grant regime, if not addressed, will have dire consequences for the accessibility and affordability of education for most Ghanaian children and youth.
Overcoming such challenges that disrupt educational systems will mean the provision of sustainable economic machinery that will help provide continuously available and highly nutritious agricultural products for feeding, as well as internal economic ventures to provide for their other basic needs.
Recognizing this challenge, ROFLM is launching the Ghana School Farms Project to enable a food security program that ensures a continuous educational calendar. This project will be a stakeholder-oriented project, involving the school, community, Parent-Teacher Associations, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and Ministry of Education, with ROFLM serving as facilitators for the smooth implementation of this project. The stakeholders are carefully chosen because of the services they will be rendering for the success of the project.
The school will host the project, the community will provide the land, the Parent-Teacher Association will negotiate the monitoring of the project, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture will provide technical expertise on the project implementation while ROFLM handles oversight of the project. All the stakeholders will hold a dialogue to determine the best approach for getting labor for the manual work.
Agriculture is defined as one of the economic pillars within the developmental agenda of Ghana, with food security as a primary goal. The ability and passion of young people can be harnessed to promote this sector and this will in turn contribute to the promotion of economic and social development.
The project has in itself the ability to change young people’s perception of agriculture. The engagement of young people in the project will build a culture that challenges the status quo, which sees farming as uneducated, unskilled, and with low economic returns. As Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture has noted, modern agriculture is more than tilling the soil and rearing animals.
We believe that the involvement of schools in this project will enable them to see the agricultural sector as offering career opportunities in research, environment, financial management, engineering, and other technical areas for youth to explore.