Accra, Oct. 1, GNA – The United Nations World
Food Programme (WFP) says it is keen on working with all stakeholders for the
transformation of Ghana’s agriculture.
It said it would also support Ghana’s
agribusiness into a more inclusive, equitable, and climate-smart sector for the
improvement of the lives of rural poor and food-insecure people.
In its message before the commencement of the
eighth Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Exhibition and conference slated for Tamale
from October 3 to 5, the WFP said it was pleased to sponsor the Pre-Harvest
event as it continues to link actors in the food value chain.
“We are particularly interested in its
benefits to smallholder farmers who produce majority of the food in Ghana but
remain among the most food-insecure livelihood groups,” WFP representative and
Country Director, Ms Rukia Yacoub said in a statement issued in Accra.
“It is my ardent hope that the eighth
Pre-harvest Agribusiness Event will indeed highlight agro-economic
opportunities for farmers, agribusiness, input dealers, investors and financial
institutions, sister UN agencies, civil society, government and
non-governmental institutions, policy-makers, municipal and district chief
executives, and others,” she said.
She said the WFP would lead discussions on
sustainable agricultural warehousing and storage, post-harvest management, and
food safety and quality standards, during the three-day conference.
Globally, she said WFP focuses its support to
national governments on Sustainable Development Goals2 – Zero Hunger and 17 –
The national Zero Hunger Strategic Review
which was launched by President Nana Akufo-Addo, in May 2018, identified the
triple burden of malnutrition, reduction of post-harvest losses, improvement of
linkages between smallholder farmers and markets, enhancement of food safety in
value chains, and mapping of food-insecure populations, as key gaps which need
to be addressed to enable Ghana to achieve zero hunger by 2030.
“These gaps which are also reflected in the
government’s policies, such as the Planting for Food and Jobs and One District
One Factory initiatives, will be WFP’s focus areas from now until the end of
our new Country Strategic Plan in 2023,” she said.
“Thanks to Canada’s invaluable partnership and
funding, WFP has phased out of its traditional programmes in Ghana, into a new
chapter of innovative integrated food security and nutrition programming, with
the private sector at the centre,” she said.
Ms. Yacoub said two local industrial
agro-processors in Kumasi and Sunyani have been funded and provided with
technical expertise to enable them produce specialised fortified nutritious
foods of international standards which will help prevent malnutrition,
particularly stunting among children.
She said 10,000 smallholder farmers in the
Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions, have been
identified for linking to these agro-processors as a market for their produce.
WFP she said was also focused on strengthening
smallholder farmers’ capacities in post-harvest management and food safety and
quality adding that “they have been profiled to determine their capacity and
identify those immediately capable of meeting the requirements of food
processors and other institutional buyers”.
“Ultimately, we hope that the food systems in
Ghana will operate optimally, whilst the factories will be able to produce
special nutritious foods for the West Africa sub-region and other markets. This
will translate into increased markets and income for smallholder farmers,
offering opportunities for them to break out of the cycle of poverty, food
insecurity, and malnutrition,” she said.