The Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development (MICZD) in collaboration with National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) says it is liaising with the Ghana Standards Authority (GAS) to have the products of the beneficiaries of the Zongo Cuisine Promotion programme certified to ensure standards, preservation and food safety.
This came to the fore at the closing ceremony for the Maamobi Zongo Cuisine Promotion programme, where over fifty Zongo food vendors received training in food safety, standardization, packaging and branding in the Greater Accra Region.
The Zongo Cuisine Promotion Programme on theme: ”Capacity Building Workshop for Entrepreneurs of Zongo Cuisine” is a flagship project of the Ministry to assist food vendors in the inner-city and Zongo communities across the country to observe standard procedures.
The project is aimed at boosting the standards of food products coming from the Zongo and inner-city communities, for customers to be able to pick-up foods such as Waakye, Hausa Koko, Kosse, Massa among others on the shelve at a go with the standards being the same everywhere across the country.
Taking participants through the process of certification at Ghana Standards Authority (GSA); Madam Stephanie Fameye Addo, who is at the Product Certification unit of GSA said product certification comes with food stability, packaging and standards among others.
According to her, for food products to meet these certification criteria, it must be free from adulteration and be stable at all times.
She stressed the wrong use of addictive in the preparation of food also prevent such foods from meeting the certification requirements of GSA.
It is in this regard, she prayed the participants to avoid the use of some of these addictive to enable them meet the certification requirements of GSA.
She noted that meeting the standards of GSA, they must observe periodic hand-washing principles, periodic cleaning and cleanliness when preparing the food to ensure stability.
She added that when these principles are observed in the preparation of the food, it ensures food safety and stability that leads to meeting the certification process of GSA.
In a remark, the Executive Director of NBSSI, Mrs. Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey said the introduction of the Zongo Cuisine Promotion programme in collaboration with the Ministry some months ago was in line with the development strategies of president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
She added that the programme is intended to create wealth for the people who have cooking these delicacies in the Zongo and inner-city communities by presenting their foods in an attractive environment.
Delivering the keynote address at the closing ceremony, the sector Minister Dr Mustapha Abdul- Hamid said the Ministry is in the business of developing Ghana for Ghanaians irrespective of their political affiliations in the inner-cities and Zongo communities.
‘’I don’t care whether the people who will benefit from the developments that will be rolled out by the Ministry under my leadership’’ he stressed.
According to him, voting was December 7, 2016 and what is left is the development of the Human beings living in the country.
He said the president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is poised to seeing developments in the inner- cities and Zongo communities hence his decision to establish this tailor-made Ministry.
He said it is the target of the Ministry that by the end of the training programme about five hundred food vendors in the various Zongo and inner-city communities will have received training in food safety, preservation, packaging and standards to boost their businesses.
He said the since the commencement of the programme in the region, Tema has trained fifty-one, Madina has trained fifty-six, Ashaiman and Adenta trained seventy.
He added that in the next two weeks the Ministry will kick start the training programme for Shukura, Abeka-Lapaz and Nima to complete the training for the Greater Accra Region.
He assured the participants that the Ministry will go full hall to assist them to meet their aspirations for participating in the programme.
He stressed that Islam is religion of cleanliness, as has been stated by the facilitators that cooking food must be done in a clean environment.