Halt sale of farmlands for mining — Quist
He added that the current practice did not only destroy the ability of the soil to support crop production but also contributes to the destruction of water bodies that are vital for agricultural production.
Dr Quist made the call at the Brong Ahafo Regional celebration of this year’s World Food Day at Nsawkaw, the capital of the Tain District on Wednesday.
The celebration on the theme: “Sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition”, was organised by the Brong Ahafo Regional Office of ActionAid Ghana and the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).
The ceremony, which was to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty, was attended by various farmer groups and a cross- section of the public.
It was also to create the platform for farmers and policy makers to come together to discuss contributions and the challenges of the agricultural sector.
Dr Quist, in his address said another area in ensuring sustainable food systems was the provision of infrastructure such as roads, markets, dryers, silos, warehouses, pack houses, irrigation facilities and processing plants.
He said under the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP), warehouses and feeder roads were being constructed in the region to link food-producing areas to markets.
“All of us should be partners in constantly drawing attention to the issues of hunger and poverty and the necessary actions required to reduce hunger and poverty”, he stated.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Programmes Manager of ActionAid, Madam Christina Amarchey, earlier in her welcome address, said it was unacceptable that more than three million children across the world still died each year for not getting enough of the right food.
She stated that in Ghana, about 39 per cent of all two-year-olds were moderately or severely stunted, and added that a child who did not die but suffered from undernourishment up to the age of two, would have his or her mental and physical development damaged forever.
Madam Amarchey said there was, therefore, the need to make sure that people got food which provided all the nutrients they needed to develop their full potentials.
Madam Amarchey added that it was also important that the voices of smallholder farmers were heard and their challenges addressed to end the vicious cycle of poverty among smallholder farmers in Ghana.
Farmers at the durbar appealed to the government to rehabilitate roads linking food and cash crop production areas, to help transport their produce to the marketing centres.
They also appealed for long-term loans or credit facilities to enable them expand their farms.
By Samuel Duodu/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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