By Caleb Kuleke
Sogakope (V/R), Oct 15. GNA – Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Responsible for Crops, says agriculture and food production remain a major priority of the country.
He said successive governments had made relentless efforts to make investments, guided by policies and strategies to ensure sustainable agriculture.
Mr Frimpong Addo was speaking at the commemoration of this year’s World Food Day celebration held at Sogakope in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region.
It was on the theme: “Leave No One Behind; Better Production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment and Better Life.”
World Food Day is an international day celebrated every year worldwide on October 16 to commemorate the date of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945.
Mr Frimpong Addo noted that food remained indispensable for the survival of humans and that science had established that there was limited time beyond which man cannot survive without food.
The Deputy Minister said investment in agriculture, with support from education and health, would guarantee sustainable food production and nutrition for citizens globally.
Mr Frimpong Addo said the strategic focus of the government on agriculture was informed by the natural endowment, comparative advantage and immense potential of the country’s agricultural sector.
The Deputy Minister noted that all 16 regions of the country were blessed with arable land for growing a variety of food and tree crops, supported by favourable weather conditions,
He said the Government was not relenting in its efforts to transform agriculture as the sector was the driving force behind the country’s economy; presenting the best opportunity for accelerated industrialisation, job creation and poverty reduction.
He commended the United Nations agencies, including Food and Agricultural Organisation, World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, as well as allied agencies both International and local, for sustaining the annual celebration of the World Food Day programme.
Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), in an address read on her behalf, said the celebration called for a shared exploit, noting that the pursuit of development could best be achieved through collectiveness.
She said the Ministry was willing and ready to work with Ghanaians and the international community to ensure that the country met its fish requirements and achieve a nourished population and a better life for national development.
The Minister said the theme for the event reminded “us of the impact of our actions as government and citizens on sustaining national food security, conserving the environment and general wellbeing in the future.
“The theme further highlights the need for a collaborative effort by academia, private sector, key stakeholders and Government and the media in the agricultural (fisheries) value chain to develop and sustain our food systems,” she added.
Mrs Koomson said the Government had shown continued support to give the fishing industry the needed boost to improve productivity and performance within the agriculture sector of which fisheries is a component.
The Minister said the Ministry was currently undertaking a review of the fisheries legislation to strengthen the regulatory framework to address lapses in fisheries governance and meet international best practices.
Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, said a concerted effort was required to deal with the issues of food insecurity across the globe and appealed to World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organisation to support countries such as Ghana to access fertilizer at cheaper costs on the global market.
This, he said, was one sure way to guarantee food availability, accessibility and affordability to all, thereby curbing global food insecurity.
He said the Volta Region was ready for any investment in agriculture and aquaculture towards enhancing the food security of the country on the premise that the Region has vast hectares of arable land and several water bodies.