Minister claims Ghana has exported 150,000 tonnes of grains  

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, on Wednesday said Ghana has exported 150,000 metric tonnes of assorted grains to neighboring countries due to strategic interventions in the agricultural sector in 2017/2018.

The Minister said since the inception of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ campaign in 2017, yields of staple food crops have significantly increased, which culminated in massive food surpluses in 2018.

“This was possible because of government’s intervention in the form of the distribution of subsidised fertilizers and improved seeds underpinned by effective extension delivery,” he said.

This was in a speech read by Dr Nurah Gyiele, the Minister of State in charge of Agriculture, on behalf of the Minister, to mark the 39th World Food Day in Accra on the theme: “Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World”.

Dr Akoto said government was rehabilitating and constructing 80 warehouses across the country, each with a capacity of 1000 metric tonnes and constructing dams in communities under the One-Village-One-Dam Policy to guarantee the availability of water for farmers for production.

That, the Minister explained, were interventions geared towards ensuring the levels of food crop production in the country were unmatched.

Records show that 831 million people out of 7.1 billion of the world’s population are suffering from hunger, out of which 672 million suffer from obesity while 1.3 billion are overweight.

Other statistics show that attaining zero hunger could save the lives of 3.1 million children a year and nourish mothers to have healthy babies with stronger immune system.

The current Global Hunger Index by IFPRI classifies Ghana as moderate in terms of severity of hunger.

He stated that adequate and nutritious food was critical for food security because it ensured a healthy nation and productive workforce.

“We all have a role to play in achieving zero hunger and this depends on the individual and collective action.”

“Farmers, agribusinesses and policy makers have to ensure that food is available and traditional practices and systems are upheld to ensure a healthy diets”.

Ms Sylvia Ekra Lopez, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, said this year’s commemoration was important at a time when the progress report on Sustainable Development Goals-2 revealed that hunger was on the rise globally.

She said undernourishment and severe food insecurity was increasing in almost all regions of Africa, affecting millions of children, which needed urgent attention.

Ms Lopez said the world spent an estimated two trillion dollars each year to treat health problems caused by obesity due to bad eating habits.

She called on all to take action to make healthy and sustainable diets accessible and affordable to everyone to reduce hunger and ensure food security.

Mr Francis Kingsley Ato Codjoe, the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, commended the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for supporting the Ministry.

He said the FAO, since its inception in Ghana in 1978, had provided agricultural related technical assistance and implemented programmes and projects to improve productivity and ensure food security.

The Ghana Flag and the United Nations Flag were hoisted to mark the Day.

The World Food Day was established by FAOs member countries at the Organisation’s 20th General Conference in November 1979, but it is observed on October 16 because of the anniversary of the FAO.

It is create public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world and focus attention on agriculture and food production.

Source: GNA

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