President Akufo-Addo launches Zero Hunger Report

BY: Sebastian Syme
 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launching the Ghana Zero Hunger Strategic Report in Accra. On his left are Ms Christine Evans-Klock, Mr Abdou Dieng and Former President John Agyekum Kufuor
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launching the Ghana Zero Hunger Strategic Report in Accra. On his left are Ms Christine Evans-Klock, Mr Abdou Dieng and Former President John Agyekum Kufuor

Ghana’s journey to meet the global deadline of achieving zero hunger under Goal Two of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 has been given a further boost following the launch of a strategic review report that identifies the gaps and proposes a road map to meet the deadline.

The report, dubbed: “The Ghana Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report”, and which focuses on addressing SDG 2, contends that ending hunger and malnutrition cannot be achieved  without adopting a holistic approach.

The report said such an approach, among other things, hinged on improvement in agriculture, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene, health, gender and social protection.

Report

The 84-page report was compiled by a research team from the University of Ghana, the University for Development Studies and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

It espouses the actions the country could take to achieve SDG 2 and how to end hunger and achieve food security, with improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture ahead of the 2030 deadline.

The World Food Programme (WFP) commissioned the J.A.Kufuor Foundation to undertake the zero hunger strategic review on behalf of the government of Ghana in 2016, with former President Kufuor as the lead convener.

Government’s vision

Launching the report in Accra yesterday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the government’s vision was to modernise agriculture, improve production efficiency and achieve food security and profitability for farmers to significantly enhance agricultural productivity.

“The basic objective of the policy is to guarantee food self-sufficiency and wean us off the disgraceful dependence on the importation of foodstuffs we can grow ourselves. We are determined to stand on our own feet, hence the mantra, a Ghana Beyond Aid,” he said.

The President said the government was implementing some interventions, such as the district warehousing policy, strengthening early warning and emergency preparedness systems and developing and implementing a nutrition strategy to deal with malnutrition at all levels.

He added that a review of and scaling up of the regenerative health and nutrition programme, the elimination of child and adult obesity and the promotion of research and development in food and nutrition security were also ongoing.

Programme of action

President Akufo-Addo said the government presented a co-ordinated programme of action to Parliament in December last year, spearheaded by the Planting for Food and Jobs, the One-district, One-factory and the One-village, One-dam policies, to engender rural development towards the attainment of the SDGs.

He alluded to the need to empower women to achieve SDG 2 and said: “My government has initiated women specific measures to facilitate the achievement of that goal, including giving women access to credit and agricultural equipment and MASLOC has been directed to disburse 50 per cent of loans to women engaged in small-scale farming and businesses.”

Former President Kufuor

Former President Kufuor expressed optimism that the findings of the report would be used to enhance the government’s food security strategy towards achieving the 2030 deadline.

He expressed the hope that Ghana would be one of the countries to achieve the 2025 target, ahead of the 2030 global target of SDG 2.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms Christine Evans-Klock, commended Ghana for making significant strides in food insecurity and reducing malnutrition over the years.
“We have celebrated Ghana’s success in achieving the Millennium Development Goal to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger,” she said.

She urged stakeholders to implement the recommendations in the report by building partnerships with the private sector and civil society organisations.

The WFP Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Mr Abdou Dieng, noted that the review report manifested the collective commitment of the government and its partners to transform the zero hunger aspirations of SDG 2 and the African Union’s Malabo Declaration into reality in Ghana by 2030.