Ghana hosts FAO food security conference

Ghana is hosting a special training session and Multidisciplinary and Management Teams’ meeting in Accra for 15 Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative countries in the West African Sub-Region.

The three-day training and meeting which began in Accra on Monday would discuss critical issues, challenges facing the sub-region in relation to the various crisis and food security, and brainstorm on best approaches within the medium term and long term to ensure dealing with the situation.

Ms Maria Helena Senedo, Assistant Director-General, Regional Representative for Africa, FAO, said the meeting would focus on analysing opportunities and needs for capacity building of decentralised authorities, sub-regional organisations, national representation and institutions.

She said this would enhance the FAO West Africa Office’s operational and managerial capacities for informed programme planning and effective delivery.

The training and meeting which was held under the auspices of the FAO Sub-Regional Office for West Africa (SFW) would review emerging challenges in funding, food availability, accessibility and other agricultural issues as well as the issue of climate change.

Ms Senedo said it was important that a multi- disciplinary approach was adopted to programmes and identify priority areas of action for the Organisation in the Sub-Region.

She explained that it was the overall goal of the SFW to achieve by 2015, sustained rural poverty reduction and food security through a broad-based growth on agricultural production, productivity and diversification as well as household incomes, with focus on small holders and vulnerable groups while thoroughly addressing the pervasive gender inequalities, the marginalisation of minority groups as well as the inequalities between territories, areas and countries.

Ms Senedo suggested increases in investment in the agricultural sectors of countries in the Sub-Region, while ensuring the provision of improved seeds and other agricultural supplies and equipment to farmers for expanded cultivation of food crops to ensure food security.

Dr Anthony Akunzule, Deputy Director, Veterinary Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana, said Ghana had initiated some projects aimed at ensuring food security especially in conflict and crises areas of the country.

These projects, he said, were to help alleviate poverty among vulnerable groups who might suffer as a result of the conflict or in cases of disaster.

He mentioned projects such as the Guinea fowl and Sheep projects in conflict areas in Ghana such as the three Northern Regions, where sheep and guinea fowl flourished and were distributed to people as part of the poverty alleviation strategy from government.

Dr Akunzule expressed the hope that results from discussions during the meeting would be implemented to ensure food security in the West African Sub-Region.

Source: GNA

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