Food insecurity will undermine our livelihoods

By | January 9, 2009

Ghana is currently facing the threats of food insecurity. This is as a result of the low production of food crops and climatic changes that has hit the major food growing regions in the country. Major food crops growing areas like the Eastern and Brong Ahafo Regions of the country have already started recording increase in the prices of food items as a result low production.Already, there are signs that the food crisis will affect the entire world which developing countries like Ghana will be the worst hit. In view of that most rice producing countries have started reducing the number of rice they import to other countries. It is estimated that only 6% of global rice produced are exported.

Already, there are signs that the food crisis will affect the entire world which developing countries like Ghana will be the worst hit. In view of that most rice producing countries have started reducing the number of rice they import to other countries. It is estimated that only 6% of global rice produced are exported. This food insecurity threat has already taken a global dimension. The crisis of surging food prices could mean “seven lost years” in the fight against worldwide poverty, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick said. “While many are worrying about filling their gas tanks, many others around the world are struggling to fill their stomachs, and it is getting more and more difficult every day,” Zoellick said at a press briefing on the eve of the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings.To meet this crisis, Zoellick is calling for a “New Deal on Global Food Policy”. Ghana’s situation was worsened by the heavy floods that hit the northern part destroying farmlands and homes last year. These floods caused severe food shortage in the north thereby, affecting the southern part of the country. It must however be noted that there had been series of cautions to government over an imminent food crisis since last year in order for it to position itself to prevent such occurrence. Abibimman Foundation and its partners; The Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) and Food Security and Policy Advocacy Network (FoodSPAN) have since raised the alarm of looming food crisis. There seem to be every indication that government failed to take prudent measures to arrest the looming crisis. This comes in the wake of statements by the Minister of Food and Agriculture to the effect that Ghana is not threatened by food insecurity. With the recent high prices of foodstuffs, Ghanaians must pay more for the consumption of food even if locally produced. It is sad to state that Ghana has failed to optimize the agric sector for an all round food supply. This is due to inadequate attention given to the sector by the government. Should this trend continue, then the country’s quest of attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be hampered. Young people and youth stand to suffer the more since they will not get the necessary nutrient they require to grow as future leaders of this nation, thus increasing the rate of hunger in the country. Something quick must be done. For instance the Aveyime rice project which would have been a major supply of food is still lying down gathering dust. Other farm areas are either been encroached by developers or are not given the necessary attention they require. Government must show strong commitment to the mechanization of the agriculture sector to ensure better yield. Currently most of the farmers in the country are practicing small scale farming. There is an urgent need to turn our focus on them and see how best to help these farmers improve into large scale mechanized farming. Incentives such as farm materials, storage facilities and capital injection must be made available to make the sector more vibrant. Government should ensure that there is ready market for farm produce. Also it must see to the provision of reliable irrigation systems at these farming areas to facilitate year long farming. The issue of land for farming in recent times has become a major problem for farmers. To this end there should be strict regulation with usage of land. Land meant for farming must be solely used for that purpose.

Source:  www.endpovertyblog.org

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