COVID-19 brought challenges and opportunities into Ghana’s food systems

Madam Patricia Blankson Akakpo, Programme Manager, Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT) has said the COVID-19 has impacted the country’s food systems.

She said even though there were challenges, it has also created opportunities, which stakeholders have adopted to stay afloat.

Madam Akakpo speaking at the stakeholders meeting said it was also to know how policies and programmes were mitigating these impacts.

The meeting organised by NETRIGHT and Institute of Africa Studies sought to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the livelihoods of fishers and farmers including any coping strategies that have been adopted during the pandemic.

The project is part of a broader project coordinated by the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, South Africa on ‘the impacts of COVID-19 Responses on the Political Economy of Africa Food Systems’ in three countries namely South Africa, Tanzania and Ghana.

She said the sector was adversely affected by pandemic especially during the lockdown period which restricted the movement of fishers and farmers.

She said they were not able to transport their products to the market, which resulted in most of them getting spoiled.

She said female fishers and farmers suffered the most, saying, most of the support especially in the fishing sector went to male fishers, who were canoe owners.

Madam Akakpo said, however, there were opportunities in the preservation of fishes, adding that, the pandemic had helped them to adopt ways of preserving their fishes better.

She also said it offered them the need to mobilise themselves and brought them together to make demands from government.

Mr Emmanuel Asare, Programmes, Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Person at the Development Action Association, said CSOs advocated privileges for women fishers and farmers.

He said they advocated for women fishers to also have subsidised outboard motors which was initially given to only male canoe owners.

He said they were undertaking programmes and educating them in how to cope with climate change which also affected their productivity.

Madam Sarah Aryee, a farmer, said they also had challenges with climate change, saying, it was dire just as the pandemic.

She said the unpredictability of the climate made it difficult for them to plan their planting season.

Source: GNA

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