Japan hosts a Ghanaian experience exchange to champion nutrition as a development agenda
In June 2016, an 11 member Ghanaian team was hosted by the Government of Japan to learn about how Japan is mainstreaming nutrition as a development agenda. The programme was sponsored by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and resulted in an action plan to be implemented back in Ghana based on the learnings of the three-week visit.
The participants learned of how the Japanese government has been able to rally the whole country to promote good nutrition, especially among school children, with a national week of nutrition education called Shokuiku. Shokuiku events bring together diet/food and nutrition players/stakeholders within one space for free comprehensive education on nutrition. Stakeholders include academics, NGOs, Associations, Food Companies, Volunteers, Farmers, Dieticians. Nutrition education is interspersed with games, competitions and rewards; all aimed at increasing people’s knowledge in nutrition. The team hopes to implement the Shokuiku method in Ghana.
The team studied how Japan has been able to successfully implement its school lunch programme which covers more than 90 percent of elementary schools and 80 percent of junior high schools. The team also visited local governments and districts to learn how they coordinate their activities to contribute to national nutrition goals.