Leadership, strategic planning and flawless execution — solution to food security

Leadership, strategic planning and flawless execution — solution to food security

The Second Quarter Graphic Business/ Stanbic Bank came off last Tuesday. It was on the theme “Enhancing Agric Sufficiency to Tackle Food Inflation.”


Our panel of discussants, both experts in the area and farmers in their own right, gave us their practical experiences and as always, their insightful solutions of what we need to do as a country to ensure food sufficiency.

One message runs through their respective views- if we keep going the way we are threading currently, we will not be able to deal with food security in this country.

Graphic Business aligns itself with the speakers at the breakfast meeting. In researching solutions for our food security challenges, we came across the story of 

Joseph in the good old Book, the Bible. Sold into slavery and translated the vision of Pharaoh to become the strategic lead person in food sufficiency.

Yes, the story of Joseph the prisoner who interpreted the dreams of King Pharaoh in which he predicted 7 years of plentiful and 7 years of famine.

It is a story worth re-living and its lessons for food security in our contemporary challenges with our yearly food inflation and upward surge of food importation.

It is a story of good leadership, strategic planning and flawless execution- 3 key concepts we would like to draw our readers attention to.

Strategic vision- Having been told of the interpretation of the dream, Pharoah put in place a 14-year strategy of food sufficiency. 

He appointed the young Joseph as the lead in his 14-year strategic vision, knowing that Joseph had provided the solutions for what was to be done.

He appointed a total stranger and empowered him with the power and authority to execute his vision.

It was to be expected that a foreigner, a prisoner, later appointed a Prime Minister in charge of food security would face challenges hence elevating him to the office 
of a Prime Minister to give him the power to execute the vision of the leader.

Leadership is cause, everything else, is an effect as the saying goes.

On the second point about strategic planning- Here was a young man thrust into power and authority to provide food sufficiency for the people of Egypt over 14 years.

His first question would be; how does one begin to feed an entire Ghanaian population of about 32 million people yearly; seven years of which there will be no farming?

The young Joseph engaged professionals and engineers who would design the big storage facilities that can store food into the future; engaged statisticians to forecast population growth in the next 14 years and hence their food needs; engaged journalists to communicate clearly the vision of food sufficiency; engaged soil scientist to understand which soil is best suited for which crop and which preservation methods to apply to each crop, engaged the GPRTU on ways to cart food stuff locked up in the hinterlands to the city to ensure food availability and at competitive prices for all.

The young man certainly must have engaged mathematicians, doctors, farm hands, labourers, accountants and everyone in the agricultural value chain to ensure that the 14-year vision became a reality.

It was, therefore, a natural progression that haven gotten the strategy right and engaged with all relevant stakeholders, there was flawless execution.

Therein lies the solution to our cyclical food inflation year-in and year-out. We need a clear vision of our food security strategy with a long-term perspective on how we hope to reduce food imports into the country. 

Such a policy must be devoid of the political colourations that tend to sway people who are not in mainstream politics but who have the requisite expertise to help develop the sector.


In conclusion, therefore, the Graphic Business is of the firm view that a clear visionary direction is needed that leaves no room for political manoeuvring for any government to tingle with such a policy for its partisan consideration.

In effect, any such vision must transcend the eight-year political “circus”.

Second, professional bodies must not sit on the fringes and expect only the political leaders to dictate our common food needs. We must make our voices heard and heard loud enough.

It is only when everybody is aligned to a shared national food security vision that we can succeed in this fight to ensure food sufficiency.


Anything short of this will spell disaster for our national lives in the future.

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