Let the Four Betters improve our well-being

Somewhere in one of our last week editions, we published an article written by QU Dongyu, Director-Gen­eral of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations titled “Unlocking Afri­ca’s potential through agrifood systems transformation and capacity building.”

The article was a prelude to the 33rd Session of the FAO Regional Ministerial Conference for Africa that took place in Morocco between April 18-20, attended by all the ministers of Food and Agriculture from the African continent.

Mr Dongyu, postulated in his article that the FAO has outlined its strategic vision for the years ahead through the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031 which centres on the Four Betters: bet­ter production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Agri­food systems comprise the entire range of actors and interlinked activities that add value in agri­cultural production, and related off-farm activities such as food storage, aggregation, post-har­vest handling, transportation, processing, distribution, market­ing, disposal and consumption.

Indeed, the FAO Region­al Ministerial Conference for Africa provides one of the main continental platforms for Afri­can governments to share their perspectives and experience on implementing agrifood systems transformation and building capacity.

The conference comes on the back of more than one billion Africans who cannot afford a healthy diet, and this is simply unacceptable. By encouraging better nutrition, FAO is work­ing with countries and other partners to make healthy diets affordable and accessible for all.

According to him, The Four Betters are not just a vision, they are a call to action. They are the pathways through which countries can transform agrifood systems to be more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient, and more sustainable to deliver on the commitments of the Sus­tainable Development Goals and the post-Malabo agenda.

As against the background, hike in food prices is throwing so many households in hunger and poverty, we can’t agree more with the FAO of the need to im­plement the necessary policies to ensure adequate and food secu­rity on the continent to remove our people from the quagmire of hunger and poverty to a more prosperous and dignified lives so that no one will be left behind.

In the words of Mr Dongyu, by encouraging better produc­tion through such means as mechanisation, digitalisation, agrifood industrialisation and green-powered irrigation, Afri­can nations can boost productiv­ity and efficiency, and enhance resilience to the climate crisis.

The FAO boss noted that often, Africa presents two faces to the world: one character­ised by stereotypes of poverty and hunger, and the other, an authentic reflection of this richly diverse and vibrant continent. By harnessing the power of science and technology, enabling policies and responsible investment, African nations can unlock the true face of the continent: a land of abundance, of resilience, dynamism, and of opportunity.

He urged African govern­ments to embrace this phase and work together on agrifood systems transformation for bet­ter production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

Of course, Africa abounds with enormous opportunities to transform societies from the negative narratives of a con­tinent plagued by hunger and poverty to a very prosperous and wealthy continent that their people are proud of.

We at Ghanaian Times be­lieve our Minister of Food and Agriculture or his representative is back home with fresh ideas to speed up with the concept of the Better Fours for the wellbe­ing of Ghanaians.

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