A five-day national training workshop on early warning system to provide reliable information to decision makers in Ghana to ensure food security on Monday opened in Accra.
The workshop is being organized by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in collaboration with the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel and West Africa (CILSS) for 25 participants from sub sectors such as livestock, water resources, meteorology, health, nutrition, trade and transport.
The training would also design a technical approach for monitoring and managing the food situation in Ghana.
Mr Samuel Oku, Director of Statistics Research and Information Directorate of the Ministry in an address read for him, described early warning as the provision of timely and effective information, through identified institutions that allowed individuals to be exposed to hazards to take action to avoid or reduce risks and prepare for effective response.
He said in strategizing for an early warning system there was the need to integrate four main elements such as risk management, monitoring and predicting capabilities to provide timely estimates of potential risks, ensuring proper dissemination of information to potentially affected locations and ensuring appropriate response through quality coordination, good governance and appropriate action plans.
“The basic idea behind early warning is that the earlier and more accurately we are able to predict short and long-term potential risks associated with natural and human-induced hazards, the more likely we will be able to manage and mitigate disasters’ impact on society, economies and environment,” he said.
Mr Oku said food security issues had assumed an important role in the discussions of many countries, especially as erratic rains due to global climate change had been having adverse effect both directly and indirectly on agricultural production.
He said, in addition, frequent natural disasters such as recent floods usually led to food crisis, therefore, there was the need for effective regional cooperation to combat such emergencies.
He thanked all financial and technical partners for their assistance to the Ministry in support of food security activities in the country.
Mr Amadou Konate, a Food Security Expert from CILSS, explained that his organisation was mandated by the CLISS Heads of State and Government to extend its activities towards other countries in West Africa considering the wide experience it had gathered in the Sahel.
He said participants would be taken through topics such as diagnostic tools and techniques for collection and treatment data, regional system for prevention and management of food crises in the Sahel and in West Africa, existing systems of information which involves collection, analysis, publication, dissemination and funding in Ghana as well as the treatment and analysis of field data.