FAO paints gloomy picture of Ghana’s crops production

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has painted a gloomy picture about the prospects of Ghana’s crops in the coming years.

Erratic seasonal rains, dry conditions and flooding which Ghana experienced in recent times have contributed to this development.

The FAO says “Overall crop prospects are unfavourable, in spite of continued government assistance, in the form of subsidized fertilisers and increased technical support for large-scale farming.”

It noted that poor precipitations have also hindered normal planting and the germination of maize in western areas of the northern region.

The UN agency made the observation in its Food Security Snapshot Update on Ghana published on its website August 29, 2011.

According to the Snapshot even though the country recorded the lowest inflation rate of 8.4% in July 2011 since 1992 mainly due to decline in food prices, in the Northern region, the price of grains rose significantly and in “Tamale, for instance, the price of maize in July 2011 increased by 48% compared to 2010.”

“Consequently, access to food is deteriorating in the North of the country, where up to 35% of the population is estimated to be food insecure,” said the FAO.

FAO’s analysis on the country’s food insecurity was even confirmed by a senior official of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).

According to a Ghana News Agency publication, the deputy Northern Regional Director of the MOFA, Mr Stephen Yakubu, disclosed in a paper on “Food Security in Northern Ghana: challenges and prospects” at a workshop organised by the Northern Ghana Food Security Resilience Project (NGFSRP) in Tamale Thursday September 1, 2011 that over 1.2 million Ghanaians, representing 5% of the population, are food insecure.

The publication cited Mr Yakubu as saying that about 34% of this population can be found in the Upper West region with 15% in the Upper East region and 10% in the Northern region.

He further added that 1.5 million people living in the urban and rural areas of the remaining seven regions in the country were also vulnerable to food insecurity with the largest number of them in the Brong-Ahafo Region (11%), Ashanti Region (10%) and Volta Region (7%).

The FAO indicated that flooding has caused population displacement and damages to crops.

“A ten-hour torrential rainfall on July, 20 2011 and the overflow of the Birim River in the Eastern Region have caused heavy flooding in some areas. Some 872 acres of farmland have been submerged and crops washed away while some bridges and roads have been damaged making difficult movement of people and goods.”

Over 45 000 people have been displaced in Eastern, Volta, Ashanti and Central regions and that the affected persons are in need of food, shelter and non-food relief items, it adds.

By Ekow Quandzie

1 Comment
  1. Samuel Addo says

    please i want the percentage of foods that get rotten every year.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.