Water, indeed, is life, it’s food
Yesterday marked the World Food Day, a day set aside by the United Nations (UN) to serve as a valuable platform to raise awareness of hunger and inspire action for the future of food, people and the planet.
The day is also used to promote understanding of healthy diets and nutritional needs.
Since October 16, 1979, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), an agency of the UN, marks every October 16 with renewed commitment and stronger dedication to realising Sustainable Development Goal Two (SDG 2), which anticipates the eradication of hunger.
The theme for this year’s celebration: “Water is Life, Water is Food.
Leave No One Behind,” seeks to highlight the critical role of water on earth and water as the foundation of the world’s food.
It focuses on the fact that water for survival is crucial for the human race and all living creatures, especially with the current serious impact of climate change on water bodies.
The Daily Graphic acknowledges that, globally, most water bodies are drying up as a result of low rainfall, while the rise in the sea level has the potential of affecting freshwater quality through the increase in the salinity of coastal rivers and bays.
Water, indeed, is life and food because there cannot be food if there is no water and we see it as a call to action to preserve water bodies for the continuous survival of all living things on the planet.
The relevance of the theme for the people in the country cannot be overemphasised, considering the devastation and havoc wreaked on water bodies in recent times by the activities of illegal mining, popularly called galamsey.
Galamsey, indeed, has become a public health emergency issue, threatening the very lives of not just the communities where it is carried out, but the country as a whole.
As we celebrate this day, the clarion call to the authorities is to ensure that good quality water is always available for consumption.
Without quality water, the workforce will be compromised and this will affect overall productivity.
Last Saturday, the Ministries of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, together with the FAO and other development partners, organised a float to raise awareness of issues of hunger, water shortage and the need to take urgent action to avert them.
As part of the day, the MoFA held a Presidential Breakfast Meeting on agriculture and agribusiness financing, which was followed by a flag-raising ceremony at its forecourt to signify the country’s resolve to address the burning issue of food security.
The Daily Graphic sees the Presidential Breakfast, which assembled captains in the financial sector to brainstorm financing agriculture and agribusiness, as a step in the right direction.
At the breakfast meeting, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo expressed concern about the poor credit culture in the country, saying financial institutions must seriously consider how to improve the situation.
The creation of the Ghana Incentive-based Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending Scheme (GIRSAL) to guarantee agricultural loans is one of the bold solutions to reduce risk and ultimately the cost of lending to agricultural activities.
The second phase of the PFJ 2.0 launched in August this year also seeks to give farmers a lifeline.
This is because PFJ 2.0 is a major shift from input subsidy to an input credit scheme, which will adopt an entire value chain development approach, with opportunity for existing businesses to scale up and to attract new investors and value chain actors.
The launch of the PFJ 2.0 should translate into enticing many large-scale farmers with the resultant aim of having enough food to feed the population and surpluses to export for cash.
With seven years to go, the focus of PFJ 2.0 should be to attain the SDG 2 which hinges on eradicating hunger by 2030.
To achieve this, the critical topics handled at the Presidential Breakfast Meeting should not remain the usual talk shops; the suggestions and proposals should be implemented to the letter.