A total of 3.6 million Ghanaians found to be food insecure
The 2020 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) report has revealed that a total of 3.6 million Ghanaians representing 11.7 per cent of the country’s population are food insecure.
Out of the figure, 5.2 per cent representing 1.6 million people were severely food insecure, while 6.5 per cent representing two million people were moderately food insecure.
Of Ghana’s 3.6 million food insecure people, 78 per cent representing 2.8 million people were in rural areas, and 22 per cent representing 0.8 million people were in urban areas.
The report also showed that 18.2 per cent of the country’s rural population were food insecure, of which 7.3 per cent were severely food insecure and 10.9 per cent were moderately food insecure.
The findings showed that 5.5 per cent of the country’s urban population had food insecure, of which 3.2 per cent were severely food insecure and 2.3 per cent were moderately food insecure.
The report, presented in Tamale, was the most comprehensive food security assessment yet undertaken in the country by the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) with technical and financial support from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
A total of 67,140 household heads across 4,476 sample points or enumeration areas from the 260 districts in the country were interviewed from November to December 2020 to produce the report.
The 2020 CFSVA provided a comprehensive and detailed analysis of who the food insecure and vulnerable people were in the country, where they lived, how many they were, why they were food insecure or vulnerable, what could be done to save their lives and livelihoods, how the situation was likely to evolve, and the risks associated with them as well as the impact of COVID-19 on food security.
Per the 1999 World Food Summit working definition, food security described a situation in which “All people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
The report showed that on a regional basis, food insecurity was a truly national challenge, with all regions except one (Oti) having a food insecure population of more than 100,000.
Most of the country’s food insecure people lived in the northern part of the country as the findings showed that 18 per cent were in the Upper East Region, 17 per cent in the Northern Region, and 13 per cent in the Ashanti Region.
The region with the highest prevalence of food insecurity was Upper East, with a rate of 49 per cent whilst two other regions – North-East and Northern had food insecurity rates exceeding 30 per cent (33 per cent and 31 per cent) respectively.
This showed that there was a higher prevalence of food insecurity among male-headed households (14.1 per cent) compared to female-headed households (9.5 per cent).
It also suggested that the higher the educational level of the household head, the lower the prevalence of household food insecurity, and overall, there was a higher prevalence of food insecurity among ‘migrant households’ (15.9 per cent) than non-migrant households (11.1 per cent).
It called for proper and effective coordination and harmonisation of food and nutrition security interventions by the MoFA especially in the northern part of the country.
It further called for the promotion and adoption of climate smart agricultural activities as well as the need “To improve community and household resilience, especially during the lean season as households often face economic hardship during these periods in the northern part of Ghana. This could be done through seasonal implementation of cash transfers linked to Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty as well as support for livelihood activities for the affected populations.”
Ms Barbara Clemens, WFP Country Director and Representative called for education on nutrition and social behavioural change communication at the community level to increase the consumption of locally available nutritious foods and specialised nutritious foods.
Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, Government Statistician expressed the need for all stakeholders to thoroughly study the report and devise practical measures to address the findings.
A representative from MoFA expressed gratitude to partners for the technical and financial support towards the conduct of the study.