The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs. Dzifa Gomashie, has urged Ghanaians to help sustain the agriculture sector by patronising locally produced food items.
The local farmer and their investment partners, she said, could only be kept in business if Ghanaians produce.
Mrs. Gomashie made the call on Wednesday at Tema at the Eighth Tilapia Fair organised by Volta Catch, producers of fresh tilapia, in collaboration with Nestle Ghana’s Maggi and the Ghana Chefs Association.
The fair, which formed part of the Republic Day activities, was used to showcase fresh tilapia preparation in gravy, okro soup, light soup, groundnut soup, palmnut soup and fresh cat-fish soup, while ‘abolo’, ‘yakayake’, Fante kenkey, Ga kenkey, and ‘akple’ added for the consumption of the guests.
Mrs Gomashie said since the quest to appreciate other people’s culture and eating habits would eventually destroy what the country had, there was the need for a conscious effort to protect the system by depending solely on local produce for survival.
“The local farmer’s income will be kept in the country to grow the economy for total development, while foreign producers will keep their profits in their country. That is why we have to patronise what we have,” she said.
“We are a communal society that care, for one another with the desire to build a strong and vibrant society. Let us see ourselves as blacks and eat what we grow,” she added.
She commended Volta Catch, Nestle and the chefs for organising the fair and pledged the government’s commitment to support whatever initiative they might take to sustain the industry.
Ms. Sandra Boateng, of Nestle Ghana Limited, on behalf of the Managing Director, Godwin Amanfo, said the company decided to partner the chefs because of the foresight and zeal they were exhibiting to promote made-in Ghana products.
She indicated that most chefs had complained about fake seasonings in the market, hence Nestlé’s desire to promote the best seasonings needed for healthy diets.
The General Manager of the Volta Catch, Ashutosh Ghildiyal, said the company decided to use this special day to increase public awareness on the variety of tilapia usage in the country.
“The product has a special place in the hearts of Ghanaians, That is why we see this collaboration with Nestle Ghana and the chefs as one of the best partnerships that would promote the usage of tilapia,” he said.
He said the company was putting up a massive plan to make the product affordable to the public through community sensitisation and visits to major tilapia markets across the country.
Mrs. Bridget Katriku, Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, called for more consumption of tilapia to promote the products of the aquaculture industry.
“We need to constantly promote the production and consumption of tilapia to ensure the growth of the economy as well as boost the nutritional value of the people.
Mr. Nutepe Katey Attipoe, National Secretary of the Ghana Chefs Association, said they were motivated by the desire of the management of Volta Catch and Nestle to make the product available to all Ghanaians.
He appealed for support to win gold at this year’s Nelson Mandela culinary contest slated for September, this year.