LET THERE BE NO HUNGER! PRESIDENT

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, launched an 84-page report that analysed the food security situation and the various projects and programme that have been undertaken in the agriculture sector to address food security.

The report offers some useful recommendation on how to address the Sustainable Development Goal 2, aim at achieving zero hunger by the year 2030. The report, Addressing Sustainable Development Goal 2: The Ghana Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report, is a painstaking research conducted by a team of eminent academics: Professor Matilda Steiner-Asiedu, Prof. Saa Dittoh, Dr Sam Kofi Newton and Prof. Charity Akotia. It forms part of efforts by the John Agyekum Kuffuor Foundation and the World Food Programme to produce evidence-based report to restrategise to end hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition.

It is, also expected to guide development partners in their decisions in their food security programme toward ending hunger in the country. Ghana has made great strides in addressing food insecurity. Indeed Ghana is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to meet the Millennium Development Goal 1, of halving poverty and hunger before the closure of the MDGs in 2015. In recognition of Ghana’s efforts The Food and Agriculture Organisation gave the country an award for reducing the levels of malnutrition population from seven million in the 1990s to less than one million currently. Furthermore, a USAID survey carried out in 2015, gave Ghana thumbs up for reducing household suffering from moderate to severe hunger by 20 per cent, while stunting growth in children in northern Ghana reduced by about 23 per cent between 2012-2015. In spite of these achievements, hunger and malnutrition are still a major problem in the country, where an estimated 1.2 million people are said to be facing food insecurity, especially in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions.

There regions constantly face food insecurity because they experience very short rainy seasons and have inadequate irrigation facilities to ensure all year agriculture productivity, in addition to climate change. According to the report, Ghana faces triple burden of malnutrition: protein energy malnutrition, macronutrient malnutrition and overweight and obesity which needs to be addressed to ensure a healthy population for sustainable development. The Ghanaian Times commends the foresight of the JAK Foundation and the World Food Programme for commissioning the researchers to dissect the country’s agriculture challenges, to come out with recommendation to tackle the problem head-on, in order to ensure that nobody goes hungry as part of our global and regional commitment. Indeed, Ghana is endowed with ecological zones across the country that are good for various agricultural production and we strongly believe that if we put our house in order, we will surely realise our goal of ending all forms of hunger and malnutrition in the country by 2030.

We, wish to also reiterate the point made by the researchers that the government’s commitment to donor-funded projects has been insignificant, and urge it to redouble its commitment to the agriculture sector and ensure value for money through monitoring and evaluation. We fully endorse the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative which we believe if well implemented, has the potential to arrest the decline in agriculture production in the country and make the country food secured and take out the estimated 1.2 million people who are facing food insecurity in the country.

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