Let’s Eat Our Local Food – Minister

Let’s Eat Our Local Food – Minister



The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, has called on Ghanaians to eat locally grown foods, which are full of flavour with more nutrients. He believes the nation’s fixation with imported foods completely misses the point of healthy eating, explaining that, unlike crops also grown locally,


imported foods are harvested early in order to also be shipped and distributed to local retail stores. Speaking at the opening of a food fair forum organised by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Accra to mark the World Food Day, Dr. Afriyie indicated that produce at local markets, many times, have been



picked within 24 hours of consumer purchase. Let us make the conscious effort to consume plantain for example, which is abundant in various communities in the North West Region, such as Asankragua, Bodi and Sefwi-Wiawso, he stated. According to him, local food has a shorter time between harvest and one’s table,



noting that it is less likely that the nutrient value has decreased. The minister pointed out that food imported from far-away countries is often older, having travelled and sat in distribution centres before it gets to the retail store for purchase. He argued that the money that is spent with local farmers and growers all stays close to



home and gets reinvested with businesses and services in Ghanaian communities. “This will create wealth for our farmers and build the country’s economy. If we continue to eat imported food, what that means is that we are creating jobs in other countries and putting pressure on the local currency, he submitted. Dr. Afriyie said food is a



security matter and also has safety issues, asserting that food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution. Also should Ghana be at war and a certain country hates us, our food imports can be blocked. We can plant the foods, but it takes one or two years to get



them harvested, the minister stated. Let change our eating habits by retraining the two basic nerves - glossopharyngeal nerve which sub-serves taste and olfactory nerve that sub-serves smell - to log on to Ghanaian foods. Food nationalism and import substitution can change Ghana’s foreign exchange position for the better. About $1 billion is used to import



food annually into the country,” he posited. The Director of Food Research at CSIR, Prof. Charles Toto, said Ghanaians should think about how they can add more locally grown foods to their menus. By doing so, he pointed, the citizens will be supporting the many benefits of locally grown food, and indicated that Ghana has the best of food and what it takes to scientifically develop superfoods.