BRIGADIER General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, Head of Human Security at the National Security Secretariat, has described the rapidly decreasing agriculture production in the country, as a looming disaster which can only be averted through a mass involvement of the citizenry in farming.
According to him, the increasing importation of agriculture produce, including foodstuff, vegetables and fruits from neighbouring countries, to make up for the low local production, was a recipe for disaster.
In an interview with The Ghanaian Times Brig-Gen. Nunoo-Mensah said “it is unimaginable that we will import common foodstuff that we know how to grow best, while our vast arable lands lay unutilised.”
Bemoaning the situation, he said Ghana has no excuse not to have food, adding that increasing cost of food would become worse if Ghanaians did not work together to reverse the trend.
Brig-Gen Nunoo-Mensah described the unwillingness of Ghanaians to venture into farming to produce food as “sin to God and mankind,”.
Brig-Gen. Nunoo-Mensah, who is a former National Security Advisor and has been active in small scale farming, said Ghanaians have no excuse to be poor and hungry.
He urged individuals to engage in backyard and small scale farming, while large scale farmers need to intensify their activities,.
Asked whether it was not the responsibility of the government to revamp the agriculture sector, he admitted government had not done much to enhance the sector, but noted that individuals had equal responsibility to invest in the sector.
According to him the government could only play its facilitatory role and provide the needed inputs such as subsidised seeds, fertilizer and equipment, indicating that the individuals need to take advantage of such interventions.
The retired General, showed this reporter assorted vegetables and foodstuff from his backyard farm.
According to him, the high cost of food was part of the reason many Ghanaians were unable to live within their incomes, resulting in people engaging in corrupt practices to survive.
Brig-Gen Nunoo-Mensah urged leaders in the professional, political, religious and social sectors to engage in farming to encourage their followers to emulate.
That, he said, would also help to change the perception that farming was for the poor, to encourage more people, particularly the youth to get into farming, indicating that farming produces high economic and social benefits.
By Edmund Mingle