We refer to our story yesterday, in which the Head of the Human Security at the National Security Secretariat, Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, expressed concern about the rapid decreasing agricultural productivity in the country, suggesting that the country could be facing looming disaster.
He was very much concerned that Ghana is almost importing agricultural produce, including foodstuff and vegetables, while the country has the ability to produce to feed the growing population.
Some people may hurriedly rubbish the statement by the “old general” because he may not be an agriculturalist to sound such an alarm without any empirical evidence. Very often, people would want to hear that from the experts rather than non-experts.
We recall that agricultural researchers and other allied scientists have on countless occasions, sounded warning about how large tracks of farm lands in the country are rapidly being developed into real estates, leaving less space for crop production.
Food is a security issue; human beings could only be secured if they have food security; therefore, it is within their purview to talk about problems affecting the agriculture industry which pose threats to the people’s survival.
We are witnesses to how food shortages in other parts of the country in 2007 caused social upheavals and protestations.
In the 1970s, Ghana could produce enough, especially grains like rice and maize, to feed the population and export to other countries, through initiatives like the Operation Feed Yourself, which induced the sense of self-reliance in the population.
Unfortunately, we seem to have lost that sense of being self-sufficient, and now spend huge sums of money to import food.
Ghana is now only 56 per cent self-sufficient in rice production, down from the 100 per cent self-sufficiency in the 1970s.
Though Ghana has achieved the Millennium Development Goal One in reducing extreme poverty and hunger, we still believe that we can do more to become self-reliant in food production because God has endowed the country with good climatic condition for food production.
All the ecological zones of the country hold great prospects for sustainable agricultural production.