Putting plans into action: healthier diets for Accra
Overcoming hunger and malnutrition in all its forms is about more than securing enough food to survive: what people eat should also be nutritious and safe. This was once more underlined by the recent UN Food Systems Summit and reiterated during NFP’s recent World Food Day event. For consumers to be able to make nutritious and safe dietary choices the design of their “food environments”, particularly in cities plays a crucial role. These food environments are shaped by aspects such as the affordability, desirability and convenience of healthy food choices, but also types of food outlets, product properties and regulations. The NFP Ghana Urban Food Environment Collective Impact Coalition is about to take concrete action to improve these contexts for healthier diets in Accra, and is looking for people who would like to help them achieve this goal.
Enabling healthy and sustainable food choices
The Ghanaian-Dutch multi-stakeholder Coalition works from a broader food systems perspective and envisions for traditional markets in Accra, Ghana, to be a popular place to work, visit, and most importantly, to be the primary source of food and drinks that are healthy, nutritious and safe to consume. This will be a big step forward in making healthy diets available to all. If successful, the work will expand to other African cities.
Over the past months action groups have worked very hard to translate local needs, policies, and scientific insights, into ideas for joint practical solutions. Four multi-stakeholder action groups have now kicked off, aiming to tackle the most pressing issues in four spheres of the food environment. In the coming months they will work on:
- engaging urban consumers in urban gardening to improve household nutrition;
- traditional market upgrading;
- improving local food processing for safer and more nutritious fruit and vegetables;
- the development of a Ghana-specific nutrient profiling system.
Action groups are supported by various backbone activities to contribute to the realisation of the joint coalition vision. This includes ‘transition pathway development’ workshops, organised by Wageningen University and Research and University of Ghana. Action groups will participate to sharpen their joint vision of future healthy diets and identify pathways towards this future. They will furthermore decide on required actions and identify additional stakeholders needed to reach their goal. In parallel to this, ‘quick scans’ are developed that provide insight into existing knowledge, upon which each of the four action groups can further base their activities. The groups are also supported to forge partnerships with actors that will contribute to the sustainable continuation of the coalition’s future work. Partners in Ghana such as MDF Ghana and the Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council play a supporting role therein.
If you would like to know more and/or join the Coalition on its mission to make healthy diets in Accra available to all, please get in touch with Knowledge Broker Vanessa Nigten.Find out more about the Coalition here!
Netherlands Food Partnershipvnigten@nlfoodpartnership.com