Country faces food crisis as reserves decline – Farmer Globale CEO


Ghana risks a major food crisis at any future eventuality, as the current national food stock data suggest reserves hold just about 8.2 percent of major staples consumed locally, the Chief Executive Officer of Farmer Globale, Fred Kukubor, has said.

This development implies that there could be severe hunger for the country’s 30 million population should there be any serious crisis similar in magnitude to the ones recently experienced – the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war.

Mr. Kukubor – a discussant on the second plenary session of Day 2 at this year’s ‘Ghana Economic Forum annually organised by the Business and Financial Times – said while the inception of government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs” policy was exciting, current development does not paint a good picture.

He said the PFJ focuses on smallholder farmers, and noted that there have been challenges with data to measure its impact; meanwhile, he admitted that there has been some success achieved under the policy.

However, he argued that the smallholder farmers cannot turn around the level of investment that has gone to them.

Also, he bemoaned the infrastructure within the agricultural value chain. For instance, Mr. Kukubor observed that there are serious challenges within the local rice production sector.

Against these developments, he advocated a different approach to local production systems; focusing on shifting to commercial production from a smallholder farming approach, which can effectively guarantee the country’s access to food and nutritional security.

“How can we fortify their strength to meet the volumes of demand that we need as a nation? We can significantly enhance our food stock as a nation by shifting from the smallholder thinking to more commercial systems production,” he stated.

Furthermore, he noted that the next generational farmers – that is, young people who are quite educated, willing and ready to go into agriculture as a business – must be resourced.

This, he said, should be done by making the agriculture sector attractive while creating an enabling environment to help them stay in the production system.

“Doing this will help to improve our agricultural systems in the country,” he added.

The session was on the topic ‘Ensuring Food sustainability and security: an analytical overview of the Planting for Food and Jobs policy and the implications for economic growth’.

An Agribusiness Development Finance and M&E Consultant, Kofi Kyeremateng Nyanteng who was also on the panel, noted that current challenges have driven smallholders from production of the key staples.

The 2022 Ghana Economic Forum, a three-day hybrid event, was organised under the theme ‘Building a robust and resilient economy through technology, finance, investment, trade and entrepreneurship’.

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