The FDA with technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) has launched Healthy Street Food Incentives(HSFI) Ghana to motivate street food vendors to register in a public database, stimulate the demand for fruits and vegetables, develop a resource-efficient food monitoring and inspection system through the use of strategic triggers and declared the project duly launched.

The last four decades has seen a sustained increase in vending and consumption of Street food as a result of urbanization. The growth in the urban population has increased the wage labor competition and unemployment among the low-skilled people and this phenomenon has gradually turned the street food vending into a viable source of income.

A number of people commute quite a distance away from their homes to work and are unable to go back home to eat lunch and rather rely on food from the street vendors. Both the working and non-working class rely on street foods to meet their daily meal requirement, as it provides a variety of food choice at an economically reasonable price

The CEO of Food and Drugs Authority(FDA), Delese Mimi Darko in her open statement said that, “despite the socio-economic importance of street food in developing countries, the sector is compromised on Food Safety and nutrition issues. Street food have been associated with a number of foodborne disease outbreaks due to compromised food safety. Nutritionally-unbalanced menus and a widespread informality among other challenges, are faced by this sector in the country”.

The FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Africa, Serge Nakouzi was happy to be part of the workshop to outdoor an incentive-based program to make the street foods in our fast-growing urban cities more nutritionally balanced and healthy to ensure public health and food safety. He expressed the FAO’s commitment towards the program.

The Head of Food Safety and the Project Coordinator, Mrs. Jocelyn Egyarkwa-Amusah gave a presentation on the state of Street Food Vending(SFV) in Accra and stated that the project was going to be on a pilot basis. She proceeded to highlight the data from the survey conducted on SFVs in Accra with a projected target within the pilot areas.

It was noted that, 50% of the Street Food Vendors in Accra operate with a food handlers certificate,16.5% of them sell fruits and vegetables and 59% comply with food safety standards.

The HSFI project is targeting to increase the number of SFVs who operate with a food handlers certificate within the pilot areas to 75%, those who sell fruits and vegetables to 33% and to ensure that 30% of vendors enrolled on the program, comply with food safety standards by October 2019 with an incentive-based scratch card from vendors to customers. This is expected to stimulate growth of customers, sales and ultimately achieve the aim of this HSFI program.

The FAO consultant on the project, Stefano Marras took his turn to explain the concept to stakeholders, gave a broader perspective on the survey conducted and engaged all stakeholders for their inputs to help fine tune them to make the project a successful one.

The stakeholders present were Nestle Ghana, Indigenous Caterers Association of Ghana, Informal Hawkers and Vendors Association of Ghana, Accra Metropolitan Authority, Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Standard Authority, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, National Board for Small Scale Industries, Ghana Traditional Caterers Association, Ghana Trade Union Congress, Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, Greater Accra Regional Coordination Council, FIDA and Members of the Media.

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