The Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has urged Ghanaians to promote and consume local dishes, in order to attract more people into the agriculture sector.
According to him, it is only when Ghanaians patronise and consume local farm produce on regular basis that farmers would get value for their efforts and produce in large quantities.
“We have a lot of local dishes that when we consume them on regular basis, our farmers would get money and also invest in producing more to feed the entire country without depending on foreign products,” Dr Akoto stated.
He made the call during the recently held Homowo Cooking Competition, organised by the La Dadekotopon Women’s Wing of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), in Accra.
The competition, aimed at testing the culinary skills of the women within the party to climax the Homowo celebration of the Ga people, was also to foster unity ahead of the 2024 General Election.
Dr Akoto praised the organiser of the competition for the display of rich Ghanaian culture, saying “I was surprised to see the display of various Ghanaian dishes by the women, which is an indication that we have a lot to offer as Ghanaians”.
He said “we can produce abundantly to feed ourselves if we make agriculture attractive to everyone, especially the youth.”
Government, Dr Akoto said, was committed to partnering everyone, including those in the private sector, to ensure that the country produced enough food.
He noted that Ghana and other countries in the world were facing economic challenges due to COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war, but said with the intervention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), everything would be back to normal.
“We would not only produce, but ensure that prices have been reduced for everyone to afford,” Dr Akoto stated.
The NPP La Dadekotopon Constituency Women Organiser, Francisca Naa Borley Odenteh, who organised the event, praised the contestants for the efforts.
All the contestants, in addition to other local dishes, including banku, kenkey, yam and plantain with palava sauce, were judged on the presentation of ‘Kpoikpoi’, the main dish used for the celebration of the Ga Homowo festival.
Participants from electoral areas: New La Kpanaa, Kaajanor, Cantonments, Burma Camp/License Office and Adiembra took part in the competition.
The rest were Ako Adjei, Mantiase-Tse Addo, Labone, Adobetor and Kwei-Abafum-Abese.
Labone and Adobetor were adjudged joint winners while New La Kpanaa and Adiembra came second with Burma Camp settling for the third position.
The first three positions received cash prizes while all 10 participants had cookware sets for their efforts.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE