Add value to local dishes in order to break into international market -Caterers, food vendors urged

Ghanaian caterers and food vendors must add value to their dishes by way of packaging in order to break into the global market, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dr. Ziblim Barri Iddi has said.

Speaking at this year’s Onga ‘Kpatashie’ Cooking Contest held on Monday to mark the Republic Day celebrations he said, Ghana had very marketable delicacies but unable to receive global attention since they were not packaged well to be sold outside the country.

The minister said efforts must be made by vendors, restaurants and catering services across the country to make Ghanaian dishes very attractive to be consumed at the international level.

“This could also boost tourism in the country as our dishes would be consumed globally and Ghana would be known to the outside world through our food,” he stated.

On their part, he said the government would continue to drum home the initiative, ‘Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana and Feel Ghana’ to promote made-in-Ghana products.

He pledged that, the ministry would lead the charge by packaging one of the Ghanaian delicacies prepared during the event to be marketed outside the country.

He also urged Ghanaian caterers to take their profession seriously as they could earn appreciable incomes and get exposed to the outside world through catering.

Mrs. Bernice Dei-Kumah of the National Commission on Culture added that, efforts must be made to ensure that Ghanaian restaurants serve only local dishes.

That she said would help to market the Ghanaian cuisines and generate income for the vendors and the country at large.

Guest speaker for the event and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Hotel, Catering and Tourism Training Institute (HOTCATT), Jenny Adade lauded Onga for maintaining the event for over five years and assisting in tourism promotion in Ghana.

Onga Brands Manager, Magnus Dey said the event shall be extended to other regions in subsequent years to ensure all their customers especially the market women benefit from the corporate social responsibility.

“The event has been successful over the years and we thank the market women for showing up every year and well as government for their support,” he stated.

At the end of the contest which saw participants from markets across the country preparing local dishes, Agbogbloshie Market emerged winners, while Adabraka and Anyaa settled for the second and third positions respectively.

They all received attractive Onga and Cowbell souvenirs for their efforts.

Other participating markets include, Madina, Alajo, New Makola No2, Dansoman, Novotel No2, Mallam and Ashaiman.

BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE

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