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70 nutritionists brainstorm agronomy systems

Seventy-five Food Nutrition Security experts from across the country yesterday met in Accra to brainstorm on modalities for the country’s early warning agronomy systems.

The programme put together by the National Disaster Management organisation (NADMO) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also sought to create the room for the piloting of innovative data activity for disaster risk reduction and resilience against food security.

Issues discussed included validation of variables for the Ghana Agronomic Early Warning System (GHAgroEWS), pilot overview, brief on simulation and platform and the way forward.

The Director General of NADMO, Nana Agyeman Prempeh, speaking at the opening stated that the new agenda was a strategic shift from being reactive to a proactive institution.

According to him, the time has come to practicalise early warning interventions necessary for immediate relief in time of food crisis.

“We need to pursue a new agenda by practilising our agenda towards addressing the concerns of the vulnerable in the country prior to the occurrence of disasters,” he said.

Disaster risk reduction, he explained, was guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, geared towards sustaining the gains made under the government’s initiatives such as the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), the provision of dams and the Rearing for Food and Jobs.

The Head of the PFJ at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr Richard Twumasi Ankrah, stated that GHAgroEWS would help improve information flow at all levels to support the agriculture sector.

The government, he said was implementing policies aimed to improve the welfare of farmers, adding that “the risk factor must also be considered as most of them are managing their farms under rain-fed conditions.”

Mr Ankrah said climatic changes and other related conditions exposed the farmers to various forms of natural and man-made hazards including floods, droughts that caused severe food insecurity.

He indicated that the time had come to provide farmers with risk management information to prepare them to cope with the disasters when they occurred.

“It is our expectation that, the system when fully developed would speed up data collection storage and analysis for prompt use by management for effective decision making,” he added.

BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU

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