Ghana is self sufficient in food production but deficient in cereals – Agric Minister
Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food Agriculture, noted at the weekend that although the country is self-sufficient in the production of staple foods it is deficient in the cultivation of cereals.
“We produce 35 per cent of our rice requirement, 90 per cent of maize. 50 per cent of our cereal requirement and 30 per cent of the raw materials needed for our agro-based industries,” he said.
Mr Ahwoi made this known at the flag raising ceremony in Accra to mar the 30th World Food Day celebration on the theme: “United Against Hunger.”
He said government has put in place key strategies for the acceleration and modernisation of agriculture to close the gap.
He observed that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is determined to revolutionise Ghana’s food production, adding that government and its development partners are solidly behind the agenda.
Commenting on the theme, Mr Ahwoi said uniting against hunger calls for real partnership between the State, civil society organisations and the private sector.
Mr Ahwoi said according to the World Food Programme’s Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Report, 2009, food security and hunger affects about five per cent of all households with those in the rural areas of the Northern savannah zone badly hit.
“In general 34 per cent of households in the Upper West, 15 per cent in the Upper East, 10 per cent in the Northern Region, seven per cent in Ashanti Region and 3-4 per cent in the rural areas of Central, Eastern and Volta regions suffer food insecurity.”
He indicated that Ghana’s food and Agriculture sector development policy, which was dedicated to food security and emergency preparedness is collaborating with stakeholders in an effort to minimise the food insecurity and under nourishment status of the country.
Mr Musa Sailhou Mbenga, Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) representative to Ghana, who read the FAO Director General’s message, said world food production would need to increase by 70 per cent to feed a population of more than nine billion people in 2050.
He noted that FAO is collaborating with international organisations to play a key role in directing global efforts to reach the international hunger reduction goals.
“It is only by working together that we can realise our common objectives,” he stressed.
Mr Mbenga said together with the European professional football leagues and other regional football bodies, a match against hunger will be organized from October 22 to October 24 in Europe.