Approximately, 12 per cent of households nationwide, constituting 3.6 million, are food insecure, a report on a “Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA)” survey by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and its partners, has said.
It said female-headed households both at the rural and urban areas were more food secure than male-headed households.
The report was analysed based on food availability, accessibility, utilisation and stability.
Dr. Peter Takyi Peprah, the Director of Operations, GSS, and Coordinator of the CFSVA Project, breaking down the statistics on food insecurity, said the Upper East Region was (48.7 per cent), North East (33.0 per cent), Northern (0.7 per cent), Upper West (22.8 per cent), Savannah (22.6 per cent), Ahafo (17.3 per cent), and Bono East (16.7 per cent).
The Western North region was (13.1 per cent), Bono (12.2 per cent), Volta (9.9 per cent), Oti (8.0 per cent), Eastern (7.9 per cent), Ashanti (6.2 per cent), Western (5.1 per cent), Central (3.8 per cent) and Greater Accra (3.5 per cent).
He presented the report on Tuesday together with other partners -the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), World Food Programme (WFP) and the Canadian High Commission.
Dr. Peprah described food insecurity as a situation of limited or uncertained availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food or limited or uncertained ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (2000).
The CFSVA, he said, would address the SDGs ‘1’ (No Poverty), ‘2’ (End hunger and address undernourishment among mothers and children) and ‘3’ to ensure that people lived healthy lives and reduced child mortality to raise life expectance.
During data gathering, the report targeted 67,140 households in all 260 districts across the 16 regions.
It, however, achieved a 97.3 per cent National Level Response rate, which is 65,309 households.
The 10 worse off insecure districts, according to the report, are: Kassena Nankana West, Karaga, Builsa South, Tatale, Bolgatanga East, Kumbungu, Jirapa, Chereponi, Tempane, and Bongo.
The drivers of food insecurity identified, he said, included sex of head of households, education of household head, size of household, livelihood groups, wealth, migrant sending status, adoption of coping strategies, expenditure on food, access to land, and number of days households ate diverse food.
Dr. Peprah recommended that there should be development of all-year round irrigation and mechanisation schemes to support large and small-scale farming to engender all year-round food production.
It also asked that nutrition education and social behavioural change communication at the community level be promoted to increase the consumption of locally available nutritious foods and specialised nutritious foods.
Madam Barbara Clemens, the Country Director, World Food Programme, asked for a technical assistance from the partners to maintain a strategic humanitarian footprint towards the promotion of food security.
She said collecting data from all over the country for the first time was going to contribute towards achieving the zero hunger SDG and sustainable development.
Mr Ndiaga Gueye, the FAO Country Representative, Country Office, Director of FAO, said the challenges of securing food had been worsened by COVID-19 and exposed the weaknesses in the country’s food systems.
It, was, therefore, important for countries to focus on their food security and nutrition, he said, and gave an assurance that the FAO would assist in eliminating hunger.
He expressed joy that the report ascertained the food safety status across the country for effective policy action and disaster management.
It would also help to identify the vulnerable in society in order to support them.
Mr Gueye lauded the GSS and the partners for the hard work to generate an operational strategy to strengthen Ghana’s food system.
As part of its mandate, Reverend John Nortey, Statistics of Research and Information, MoFA, said the Ministry would ensure adequacy of food and ensure that the needed nutrition for every citizen was provided.
He noted that food and nutrition security was the key to national development and appealed for support from development partners and civil society organisations to protect the food system.