Date: 2021-04-13

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has, on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, outdoored five fortified food products under the Obaasima portfolio at the Alisa Hotel in Accra. These products, which contain 18 vitamins and minerals as ingredients are being promoted as suitable for a healthy intake.

Statistics show that about 2 billion people are affected globally by malnutrition. In Ghana, the progress towards achieving key global nutrition targets such as for overweight and obesity among women, and anaemia in women of reproductive age have shown varying degrees of success. These health challenges among women and children are largely attributed to micronutrient malnutrition.

In a welcome address, the Vice President of AGI in charge of Small-Scale Industries, Mr Humphrey Ayim-Dark took the audience through the phases the Obaasima project has travelled since 2017 when it was re-introduced. He shared the roles the AGI keeps playing to ensure more private sector food businesses adopt the Obaasima seal and fortify their products on the market.

Products outdoored include Tom Vita X produced by Yedent Agro-based in Sunyani; Lovit cereal produced by Premium foods in Kumasi, Gari Mix produced by Oxy industries based in Tema, Lola biscuits produced by Mass Industries also based in Tema and Dunu Tom brown produced by Praise Exports located in Pokuase.

Partner company experience

Mrs Gladys Sampson, the General Manager of Premium Foods, one of the partner companies on the Obaasima project, encouraged other food processors to buy into the idea of joining the Obaasima project and start manufacturing fortified foods. She explained that Premium Foods always had the vision of producing nutritious foods fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, so when the team from Obaasima approached them, they gladly bought into the idea. She revealed that they currently in the process of introducing into the market their Lovit cereal mix which has the Obaasima seal.

Ghana Standards Authority

Speaking on behalf of the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Mr Charles Amoako, Deputy Director-General of the GSA explained the role GSA plays in auditing prospective Obaasima partners as well as partners to ensure adherence to the high standards the Obaasima seal represents. He assured of GSA's continuous commitment to support the Obaasima project reach its desired impact goals. This was beautifully phrased by him as “A wealthy nation is created by a healthy nation”.

In a keynote address, Dr Holger TillTeam Leader, programme at GIZ Ghana explained the seriousness of micronutrient deficiency as a food security challenge. He then encouraged other food and beverage manufacturers to come on board the Obaasima seal that assures consumers that their products are of a certain quality and helps them contribute to the fight against malnutrition and undernutrition.

He also thanked partnering manufacturers; Yedent Agroprocessing Ltd., Mass Industries, Premium Foods, Oxy Industries and Praise Export Ltd. for being with the project over the long haul.

Other dignitaries present at the event included Mr Seth Twum-Akwaboah, Chief Executive Officer of AGI, representatives from Sight and Life, Food and Drugs Authority, World Food Programme, Obaasima partner companies and the media.

The Obaasima project is funded by the German Government, through the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and is implemented by GIZ through the programme, with 5 partners namely; the AGI, the Ghana Standards Authority, Sight and Life Foundation, DSM and with co-funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.