The sky is the limit
Food, clothing and shelter have been classified as the most basic needs of man.
But, obviously, of these basic needs that man can largely control, food is arguably the most important of all for the sustenance of life.
Thus, apart from factors such as changing climate and landscape, migration among early humans took place due to inadequate food supply.
It was thus not mere coincidence that many ancient civilisations, such as the Mesopotamian, the Indus Valley, Egyptian, Chinese and Persian all developed along or close to the banks of rivers for the people to have ready water to help in food production.
In contemporary societies, the availability of and access to food has been the concern of countries and international bodies because of its correlation to development.
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We know that global economic growth is only sustainable if every country has food security.
Countries that fail to adopt food security strategies are likely to face a lot of obstacles to economic growth.
In one instance, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations said high rates of malnutrition could lead to loss in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of four to five per cent.
This means that countries with high levels of malnutrition have the challenge of developing their human capital, which is the most important factor to achieving sustainable economic growth.
Therefore, any policy that is tailored to achieve food security and subsequent economic growth must be supported and applauded by all, while the citizenry must suggest ways by which such laudable policies or initiatives could be improved.
On this note, the Daily Graphic highly commends the current government, the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as the minister in charge of the ministry, for the yeoman’s job in putting together the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme that was introduced in 2017, just on the assumption of office.
We are gladdened by data from the Ministry of Agriculture that the country is on the verge of becoming the food basket of the sub-region.
Ordinarily, this should not be surprising, since Ghana has arable land that supports the cultivation of every crop or food that the nation consumes.
From Bawku in the Upper East Region, through to Kintampo and Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region to Axim in the Western Region, Ghana has no excuse to import food, as the land everywhere is fertile to support the cultivation of one food crop or another.
As happened some 40 years ago under the government of General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong in the 1970s, the Daily Graphic encourages the government to provide the leadership once more and whip up interest in backyard gardening that will further make food abundant in the country.
While urging the government on to continue with the good works, we ask that the PFJ programme be expanded to include more fruits and vegetables, as current figures show that a lot of money is used to import those food items into the country.
But, like others, we understand that to be self-sufficient in food, we should not see it as a single-sector issue but that it requires a blend of harmonised activities in several sectors such as finance, agriculture, health and infrastructure to make the focus on agriculture successful.
This we have seen being put in place and we can only say the government should not rest on its laurels. Ghana can certainly feed itself and others if we focus on this laudable programme.
The sky is really the limit.