Verena Wiesner and Professor Agyemang Bado Akosa unveiling the logo
The German International Corporation Agency (GIZ), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) have launched a certification seal under the Affordable Nutritious Foods for Women (ANF4W) partnership programme.
The ‘Obaasima’ seal represents endorsement of foods fortified with locally appropriate micronutrients, including 18 vitamins and minerals, to provide up to 100% of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) nutrients for women of childbearing age as well as a balanced proportion of calories from protein and fat.
Thus, customers who purchase products with the ‘Obaasima’ seal, which will be released on the market soon, can be assured of having the right proportion of micro nutrients in the product.
Deputy Head of Development Cooperation at the German Embassy, Verena Wiesner, speaking on behalf of the German Ambassador, said the project seeks to improve nutritional intake among women of reproductive age particularly during the critical window of pregnancy through the first two years postpartum.
According to statistics, 60 per cent of women within child bearing age are anemic, with the World Health Organization pegging Vitamin A deficiency among women at 20 per cent.
She indicated that the goal of the program was a commercial solution to micronutrient-malnutrition, by supporting local food processors to develop fortified food products targeting women of reproductive age.
“We believe that a commercially viable solution is at the same time a sustainable one. Under the umbrella of the OBAASIMA Seal, all products are marked as quality fortified foods, rich in essential vitamins and minerals for women of reproductive age,” she said.
Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa, focal person on the scale-up nutrition project in Ghana and chairperson for the event, said the seal was a great leap in addressing malnutrition.
“Obaasima’ represents quality in all the fortified foods to make the woman strong because if the woman is strong the family is strong,” he stressed.
Seth Twum-Akwaboah, Chief Executive Officer of AGI, said the Association is keen on promoting policies that promote growth and development of businesses in Ghana as well as the competitiveness of products made in Ghana.
He said the competitiveness objective cannot be achieved without having good quality product that meets some basic standards which can be done through the certification programme such as ‘Obaasima’ seal.
“As the newly established ‘Obaasima’ scheme, AGI and GSA will continue to work together and administer the seal for the registration of new enterprises that are interested in fortifying their products,” he said.
Deputy Executive Director in charge of Commercial Services, GSA, Frank Kofi Nagetey, noted the Authority’s willingness to make available its vast experience in testing and certification to provide technical expertise for the scheme that will be awarding the certification seal.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri