The Education Minister, Yaw Adutwum, has refuted reports that the government has substituted eggs for students under the school feeding programme with mackerel imported from China.
Mr. Adutwum speaking to Francis Abban on GHONE TV on Thursday described the reports as propaganda adding that headmasters are given money to purchase the eggs so it’s impossible for anyone to suggest that eggs for the students have been substituted with mackerel.
“Go and ask any headmaster, headmasters are given 30% of the feeding amount to buy perishables including eggs so nobody supplies eggs,” the Member of Parliament for the Bosomtwe constituency said, adding “Eggs are bought by headmasters and mackerels are supplied by buffer stock so it’s not possible to substitute eggs for mackerel. It’s propaganda.”
The Minister’s comments come on the back of reports that the Akufo-Addo government has awarded a contract to a Chinese company to import mackerel for students under the school feeding and cut the consumption of eggs.
The increase in egg consumption created an avenue for employment and further investment in poultry production by the local farmers but the sudden directive by the government had reportedly reduced the demand for eggs and on the verge of collapsing the local industry.
President of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) Victor Oppong Adjei in an earlier interview on Starr FM slammed the decision by the government to substitute eggs for mackerel for students under the school feeding program.
“The supply of eggs to schools was helping the poultry industry. But we’re hearing of the importation of mackerel to substitute the eggs, which is very unfortunate. The nutrients in eggs help the brains so you can’t compare mackerels to them. There was no agreement but gov’t said eggs should be added to the school feeding program. It was last week we heard that the eggs are being substituted with mackerel. Which is unfortunate.”
He added “as we speak now farmers are selling their birds prematurely and if we don’t take care, it’s going to collapse the poultry industry. People have been saying eggs are not good but you can take 2 to 3 eggs a day which is still good for you. Eggs have good cholesterol so we are doing much education on it.”