Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday launched the Ghana Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report.
The review is an independent, analytical and consultative exercise which the World Food Programme has initiated globally to identify the key challenges to achieving zero hunger in countries where it operates.
The report aims at ensuring the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 2, which will help the country chart a sustainable path to ending hunger, food insecurity, and all forms of malnutrition by 2030.
According to the report, everyone living in Ghana can have adequate and nutritious food throughout the year if there is a stronger integration between the pillars that affect food security and nutrition under the leadership of government.
The report argues that ending hunger and malnutrition cannot be achieved without a holistic approach that hinges on improvements in agriculture, and other sectors including nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, that directly or indirectly affect food and nutrition.
Despite significant reductions in food insecurity since the 1990s, hunger and malnutrition remain a real concern in parts of Ghana, especially in the three regions in the north and among rural and peri-urban communities.
According to the report, comprehensive action is required to overcome these challenges, hence the recommendation for a food security and nutrition advisory board at the Office of the President to embed this as a cornerstone of national development.
“Eliminating hunger and malnutrition forms the basis of achieving other development goals and therefore we are committed to implementing the clearly thought out actions identified in the roadmap of this Strategic Review,” said George Gyan-Baffour, Minister for Planning.
The report highlights the need for the production and consumption of foods which are rich in nutrients. Apart from the increase in the production of maize, there has been a decline in production of traditional nutritious staple foods such as sorghum, millet, groundnuts and cowpeas over the past decade.
“As we seek to achieve zero hunger in our country, we should always remember that food production must be nutrition-sensitive. It is more important for food to nourish the body than simply fill the stomach,” said John Agyekum Kufuor, Ghana’s former President and the lead convener of the Zero Hunger Review.
WFP Regional Director for West and Central Africa Abdou Dieng said his outfit was using this review as the basis for WFP’s five-year country strategic plan in Ghana which is built to support the government’s excellent flagship programs and agricultural policies.
“In the new program, we will work more closely with the private sector to reduce post-harvest losses and malnutrition using a market-based approach which will be self-sustaining,” Dieng said.
Launching the report, Akufo-Addo said the government’s vision was to modernize agriculture, improve production efficiency, achieve food security, and profitability for farmers, all aimed at significantly enhancing agricultural productivity. Enditem