Ghana has received an award from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for reducing the number of undernourished people from more than seven million in the early 1990s to less than a million now.
The country was also adjudged as one of 12 among 72 that have maintained their hunger rates below five per cent dating back to 1990.
Alhaji Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture received the award on behalf of President John Dramani Mahama, on the sidelines of the 39th Session of the Conference of Member States of the FAO, held in Milan, Italy from June 3 to June 5.
The award ceremony was to recognise and honour 72 countries that have made tremendous progress leading to the near achievement of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to halve the proportion of hungry people by the 2015 deadline, or bring to below the five per cent threshold.
Alhaji Alhassan made this known in Accra, in an interaction with journalists.
He said Ghana in 2013 was similarly honoured for the outstanding progress the country had made in fighting hunger, particularly in reaching ahead of time the 1996 World Food Summit target of reducing by half the number of hungry people in the country by 2015 and the MDG1 target of halving the proportion of undernourished people in developing countries.
“The 2013 award served as a motivation for Ghanaian farmers to strive to achieve more. The entire country was humbled by this recognition; but the Leadership of the nation was reminded of the daunting task of ensuring that all Ghanaians needed to be fed, nourished and empowered economically to ensure and acceptable quality of life,” Alhaji Alhassan said.
He called on the Leadership of all member states of the FAO to rededicate themselves and to strive for a world where there is zero hunger and the scourge of hunger is eliminated.
The Deputy Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Mion in the Northern Region, addressed the 39th session, and shared Ghana’s experience in the global quest to eliminate hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
“My statement focused on key aspects of the broader national development policy, the ’Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda’, which sets out among others to achieve inclusive growth through agricultural modernisation and sustainable natural resources management, increase infrastructure development, energy and human settlement development, and increase in productivity and employment.”
Meanwhile, re-elected Director General of FAO Jose Graziano da Silva has sent a personal and FAO’s a message of condolence to President Mahama and the people of Ghana on the tragic flood and fire disasters that took away the lives of more than 150 people on June 3.