Center For Climate Change And Food Security (CCCFS) joins the world in celebrating today as World Food Day to promote awareness and action in support of those affected by hunger.
This year’s celebration is under the theme “Leave no one behind.”
This theme could not have been more relevant now looking at the ongoing global crises, i.e., COVID-19, the war in Europe, the climate crisis, soaring fuel and food prices, etc., which require more than ever the need for governments to protect the poor and vulnerable as they are the ones that these crises would highly hit.
(CCCFS) also would like to use this day to highlight the ongoing crises in Ghana affecting the general populace and, consequently, the country’s development.
First, Ghana is witnessing high levels of food insecurity.
The Ghana Statistical Service, in its Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability report released this year, shows a sobering 3.6 million Ghanaians representing 11.6% of our population are food insecure. More worrying is that almost 80% of the food insecure population are in rural areas, the already poor and vulnerable. With ongoing global crises and what is being experienced on the local front, including rising inflation (currently at 37.2%), high food prices (according to the World Bank, Ghana recorded the highest increase in food prices (122%) in sub-Saharan Africa since the beginning of 2022) and droughts caused by climate change, CCCFS projects more Ghanaians to fall into the trap of being food insecure with the poor becoming poorer.
Furthermore, we would like to reiterate the extensive consequences of illegal mining, popularly known as “galamsey,” on our food security targets.
With reports of farmers abandoning farming to be galamseyers and the impact of harmful chemicals from Galamsey in our soils and water bodies, our food production levels are projected to be low, unable to meet our food security needs and eventually exacerbate hunger and poverty.
Therefore, we call on the government to implement actionable plans to reverse the tide of high food prices and growing food insecurity in the country. CCCFS proposes the following actions for consideration by the government:
1. The government should deepen its agricultural investment efforts, especially its planting for food and jobs initiative. This channel would shore up food production and provide more employment opportunities, despite the country’s current economic challenges.
2. There must be a bold step to reverse the country’s food import dependence. We must move away from being a net importer of food so that we are not heavily affected by exogenous shocks as we are currently witnessing.
3. Galamsey is a huge food security threat and must be tackled head-on by the government. Powerful political apparatchiks who are deep in this illegal venture must be brought to book.
4. The poor and vulnerable, especially in rural areas, must be socially supported. The government’s social intervention programs must be deepened and expanded to cover the many people affected by the ongoing global and local crises.
CCCFS looks forward to working with the government and other agencies to ensure that, indeed, no Ghanaian is left behind in our pursuit to fight hunger and poverty.
Jacob Sarfo (PhD)
Deputy Director of Research (Food and nutrition security)
Center for Climate Change and Food Security
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