DBG leads grand intervention to address food security
THE Development Bank Ghana (DBG) is leading a comprehensive intervention with its key partners to deliberately address market failures in critical food supply chains to ensure food security and the well-being of the public.
The move, a core component of the bank’s five years strategic plan, would marshal resources to support the commercial cultivation of maize, soya, poultry and rice.
The Chief Economist and Head of the Economic Research Department of the Bank, Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, said the bank’s objective was to address food security as a critical part of national security.
Dr Opuni-Frimpong was speaking at the DBG Value Chain Dissimilation Workshop on Monday in Accra.
The workshop provided a platform for DBG to make public outcomes from its nationwide consultative workshops with players in the rice, soya, maize and poultry sectors.
Dr Opuni- Frimpong noted that a report, classified under five main areas, had been produced to guide the intervention.
They are mapping the value chain, identifying SMEs for DBG and its partners’ pipeline and undertaking policy and regulatory reforms. It also includes financing and implementation.
So far, he said the bank was working with other stakeholders to unplug the identified bottlenecks along the critical paths of the value-chains of the rice, maize, soya and poultry sectors.
That includes the establishment of an input credit system which is aimed at increasing production and productivity by providing high-yielding seeds and fertiliser.
It also includes the incorporation of a subsidiary of the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) which will tackle the issue of post-harvest losses, reduce the amount of food in storage and also increase storage life of commodities.
“DBG’s overall goal is to seek consensus with its stakeholders in ways in which these recommendations can effectively be implemented to the benefit of our commercial banking partners or participating financial institutions (PFIs) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the view of supporting national growth and transformation,” he said.
In line with its operating model, DBG is employing a collaborative approach in order to ensure that the recommendations are implemented, Dr Opuni-Frimpong said.
He added that there was an ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) on the next phase, which involves implementing the recommendations.
“This will be based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will be signed by both parties.
“Already, out of the 29 SMEs identified from the value chain workshop, 13 have been taken into the pipeline by the PFIs. The GCX has also accepted the recommendations which relate to its operations and will be working with DBG to set out the terms of reference, workplan and timelines in order to secure implementation,” he said.
Food imports are responsible for about half of food inflation in the country, according to Statistical Service reports.
With the high import volumes of staple food items, particularly rice, sugar and poultry, the effects of the cost of living on the average citizen cannot be underestimated.
Food security is therefore a critical issue in the country confirmed by Ghana’s 83rd place ranking in 2022 out of 115 countries on the Global Food Security Index.