FSRP targets 25% reduction in food insecurity  

The West Africa Food System Resilience Programme (FSRP) is investing some US$150million into agriculture,
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang, Project Coordinator-FSRP

The West Africa Food System Resilience Programme (FSRP) is investing some US$150million into agriculture, with a development objective of reducing Ghana’s number of food-insecure people by 25 percent.

The initiative, according to the FSRP, will provide 211,200 food system actors with access to agro and hydro-meteorological information – enabling 240,000 producers to adopt climate-smart agriculture, nutrition and gender-sensitive technologies.

The investment is a five-year initiative and collaborative effort led by the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), funded by the World Bank. It is expected to enhance agricultural practices and address challenges hindering food production in the sub-region.

Data from the 2022 Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey revealed that 49.1 percent of the Ghanaian population was food insecure in the first quarter of 2022. This represented 15.1 million of the 31 million population at the time.

Despite growing food insecurity threats, Project Coordinator of the initiative, Osei Owusu-Agyemang, said the intervention is designed to empower vulnerable households, families, farmers and communities to withstand uncertainties and shocks in food production and supply within the sub-region.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), the FSRP will roll out a comprehensive strategy encompassing adaptive, innovative and sustainable interventions.

“The project aims to put 4,850 hectares of land under Integrated Land Management (ILM) practices, resulting in a 10 percent increase for intra-regionally traded production in selected value chains such as rice and maize,” Mr. Owusu-Agyemang indicated.

The project’s impact will be felt across 50 districts spanning 10 regions, with a focus on three main interventions.

According to the FSRP, beneficiary areas in southern and northern sectors include the Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta and Central Regions, constituting the Lower Volta Basin.

The Northern Sector covers the Upper Volta Basin, including the Upper East, Northern and North East Regions. The Middle Belt will see participation from the Ashanti, Bono and Bono East Regions.

The project is expected to particularly concentrate on key crops including maize, rice, poultry, soya and tomatoes, boosting productivity and creating a more resilient and sustainable food system in Ghana.

Identifying issues such as floods, droughts, pests and livestock diseases as impediments to food production, ECOWAS has taken the initiative to coordinate efforts among member-nations.

The FSRP aims to strengthen food system risk management and increase preparedness against food insecurity in the participating countries.

Mr. Owusu-Agyemang also highlighted plans for the rehabilitation of key agricultural facilities. These include laboratories in institutions such as the Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute at Bunsu; Veterinary Services at Dormaa Ahenkro and Accra; and the Crops Research Institute in Kumasi.

Additionally, other facilities slated for rehabilitation include the Grains and Legumes Board Laboratory in Kumasi; Wheta Irrigation Scheme in the Volta Region; Savannah Agriculture Research Institute; Tanoso Irrigation Scheme; Vea Irrigation Scheme in the Bongo district and laboratory facilities at selected border-posts.

The FSRP’s multifaceted approach not only addresses challenges in rice production but also emphasises the importance of upgrading and modernising key agricultural facilities.

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