This report presents the findings of a base line and supply chain study conducted on the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) in the Wa Municipality. This is part of the procurement governance for Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programme which is a four-year initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation through the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) aimed at securing smallholder farmer participation in the programmes which is currently being implemented three countries namely Mali, Kenya, and Ghana. The project is designed and estimated to enable as many as 10,000 smallholder farmers in Ghana, at least 30% being women within a period of four years, to derive increased and stable income through effective participation in a Home Grown School Feeding program that uses open, transparent, accountable procurement practices in its implementation, affecting all stakeholders along the supply chain. The project is aimed at;
Improving the HGSF procurement process and strengthen the capacity of all actors to ensure that smallholder farmers have access to the HGSF markets.
Page | 8
- Enhancing the supply chain governance of HGSF programs to ensure effective, transparent and accountable delivery of products across the supply chain.
- Developing effective and participatory mechanisms for increased accountability by and for the programs’ stakeholders
- Ensuring effective monitoring and documentation of lessons learned for broad dissemination to increase the likelihood of replication/scaling-up of best practices.The baseline and supply chain study was therefore conducted to establish the basic facts in relation to the implementation of the HGSFP so far in the Wa Municipality which will inform subsequent policy action and probably change or improve the implementation strategy.
The study used data collection tools designed by SNV to gather both quantitative and qualitative information from the key actors of the program including 82 caterers, 3 traders/suppliers, 20 Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs), the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and one Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), 2 Financial Institutions and a Key Informant who were purposively sampled in view of their roles in the GHSFP.Seven data research assistants made up of two SAVE-Ghana team members were recruited and trained for the data from all the actors.
The study made the following key findings among others;
Almost all the caterers have never received any training on the GSFP supply process which has the potential to affect the quality of the final delivery to the school children.
Most of the actors particularly FBOs, Caterers and Traders either do not keep records at all or most of their information is incomplete.
Access to credit by caterers, traders, FBOs and small holder farmers remains a challenge as they are mostly either not in organized groups or the associations they belong to are loose ones not worthy of any credit.
There is no formal link between caterers and farmers and so caterers buy their food stuff from the open instead of small holder farmers.
Most of the FBOs and caterers operate only as informal business enterprises which affect their ability to access credit and negotiate appropriate business terms.
Some of the beneficiary schools do not have kitchens and so cooking is done and served in the open.
Challenges like incomplete questionnaires attributed to inappropriateness of the issues to the respondents and poor record keeping by the actors which made the completion of the quantitative information sections of the questionnaire impossible for the respondents were very common among most of the respondents.
For now, the implementation of the program may be beset with a few challenges but it still stands out as a programme that requires all hands on deck for Ghana to derive the maximum benefits.