The Action Aid Ghana (AAG), an advocacy for women and children's rights promotion, has called for the promotion and consumption of indigenous food varieties by the citizenry to portray the nation's identity, culture, and tradition.
According to the AAG, some of the indigenous food varieties were disappearing from the system because the populace had developed the taste for foreign foods and due to that some homes no more cook local foods for the younger generation to be familiar with "the nation's precious edible foods" and develop the taste and likening for them.
Mr. Yaw Osei Boateng, a Programme Officer of AAG responsible for the Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo Regions made the call when he was speaking at the local celebration of this year's International Rural Women's Day at Kenyasi in the Asutifi North District of Ahafo Region.
It was jointly organised by the AAG and Coalition for Maternal Heath and Citizens' Empowerment (CMCE) under the theme: "Preserve and Promote Indigenous Food Variety to Support Rural Women to Cultivate Good Food for All".
Participants included the representatives of the Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council, the Regional Directorates of Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) as well as Small-holder Women Farmers' Movement and members of some identifiable youth groups from the Asutifi North and South Districts.
Mr Boateng observed the taste and preference for foreign diets by many Ghanaians nowadays had greatly affected and decreased the level of consumption of the country's local foods by individuals and families.
He suggested the need for government institutions, organisations, and other stakeholders, such as restaurants and chop bar operators, farmers, and the general public to support the call for the promotion, consumption, and preservation of local food varieties.
Mr. Salaam Mahama, the Chief Executive Officer of CMCE, a local NGO promoting quality maternal health and women empowerment said, "we must cultivate the habit of always applying local spices such as ginger, garlic, and onions to add flavor to our foods and simultaneously promote our quality health".
Mr. Mahama implored the farmers to practice organic farming and stop the use of chemicals, indicating that they polluted and neutralized the nutrients in the food crops, thus, made them unhealthy for human consumption.
Madam Juliet Yeboah of the Asutifi North District Directorate of the GHS in a remark said, "the country's local diets are healthy in building our immune system" and very advantageous to eat such diets for a quality state of health.
In that sense, she advised, "We must avoid eating too much meat, fatty and starchy foods and rather endeavour to eat more fiber-content foods, fruits and vegetables to build and strengthen the body system in fighting diseases".