How Austerity Undermines School Feeding Programmes: An Analysis of Ghana’s Home-Grown School Feeding Model
Starting in 2015, the government of Ghana implemented austerity as a response to economic challenges in the country. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to demonstrate how a political climate of austerity undermines the goal of linking local agricultural production to school feeding markets. The paper draws on one-on-one semi-structured in-depth interviews with 25 service providers and one expert from the international NGO SEND-Ghana to examine the implication of austerity for Ghana’s home-grown school feeding programme. The findings reveal that austerity has meant that the actions and decisions of the service providers undermine the critical goal of linking the school feeding market to local agricultural production. Specifically, due to significant delays in reimbursing service providers for services delivered, the service providers are forced to deliver the programme by relying on credit purchases from the open market, rather than purchasing 80% of their foodstuff from the local smallholder farmers as required of them. Thus, Ghana might miss out on the development policy potential of stimulating local agricultural production through its connection to school feeding markets.