Food self-sufficiency imperative!

 Food, clothing and shel­ter are the three basic necessities of life.

That is to say that if noth­ing at all, every human being should get these things to be able to survive.

However, judging from the frequency of the demand for them, one will not be wrong to say food tops the list.

This is because while shelter could be acquired once in a lifetime and clothing at inter­vals convenient to the individ­ual, food has daily demand.

The human physiology daily demands food, including water, to thrive so the indi­vidual can survive, grow and develop well.

Therefore, if any nation wants to have citizens that would grow healthily and be­come productive in order to contribute to its development, that country must ensure sanity in its food sector.

This is why we think every Ghanaian should give a thought to an assertion by President Nana Addo Dank­wa Akufo-Addo to the effect

 that the country must make a systematic and conscious effort towards food self-sufficiency.

It is worrying to learn that the country has it as a challenge to attain food self-sufficiency and thus achieve food security.

This means we can only have enough food in the country with imports as the supplements.

However, we all know the financial difficulties that the country encoun­ters with food imports.

The way out then, ob­viously, is to ensure food self-sufficiency.

Food self-sufficiency is important to achieve food security, which is when everyone at all times has access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to lead healthy and active life.

The Food and Agricul­ture Organisation (FAO) maintains that nations should ensure production of adequate food, maxi­mise stability in the flow of supplies, and ensure access to available sup­plies on the part of those who need them.

The FAO sums it all up that food security should have the four pillars of availability, access, utilisa­tion, and stability.

Using these pillars as the check list, we would not be wrong to conclude that a good number of Ghana­ians suffer food insecurity, which has its own nega­tive implications.

This state of affairs is unacceptable because Ghana is touted as an agrarian country.

What then are the prob­lems militating against the production of enough food for it to avoid im­ports?

Let the whole coun­try think about this and let the movers and the shakers in the food sector, including politicians and business people, agree on what to do.

It is rumoured that sometimes the business people dictate what should be done and in such a way that their businesses would thrive no matter what the country would suffer.

We know the Akufo-Addo administration is doing what it can to create some sanity with efforts like its Planting for Food and Jobs programme, and partnerships such as the Ghana-Thailand Rice Project being spearheaded by the Jo­spong Group of Companies.

We believe such efforts need the support of the whole country, hence those who have land to provide should make things easy for investors, and public officials who should facilitate certain processes should shelve all selfish inter­ests for the public good.

The government should also ensure cost-effective production of food to attract investors and even small-scale farmers.

That way the country can achieve food self-sufficiency and subsequently food securi­ty for all the benefits accruing therefrom.

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