Director of Programmes for Peasant Farmers Association, Charles Nyaaba, has expressed his disappointment in Ghana’s ranking on the 2021 Global Food Security Index which saw Ghana rank 82nd out of 113 countries.
Per the Global Food Security Index rankings by Economist Magazine, Ghana was also ranked 4th in sub-Saharan Africa, trailing behind South Africa, Botswana and Mali.
Speaking in an interview, Mr Nyaaba revealed that his main concern is with Mali ranking ahead of Ghana, a phenomenon he described as an “indictment”. He noted that by comparing Ghana’s resources in terms of endowment in agriculture activity, it is “laughable for countries like Mali to rank higher than Ghana”.
“I am disappointed not only in Ghana, but sub-Saharan Africa in general. Because we have everything that it takes for us to rank higher in terms of agriculture performance. In terms of land, labour [and] waterbodies for agriculture production, we have it. So, for us to allow countries like Australia, UK to perform better than us, I think we need to take a second look at the report. Look at the areas that brought us back and see how best we’ll be able to bring it up”.Mr Charles Nyaaba
Commenting on industrialized countries like Australia surpassing Ghana on the index chart, Mr Nyaaba explained that it’s possible for them to be in large scale food production and not translate into food availability for the “ordinary person”.
“When you talk about food availability and affordability, we are not only looking at the quantity that’s produced and supplied to industries. We are looking at [the] quantity of food that is in the market the ordinary person will be able to afford that food. If we are focusing on Industrialization alone, I don’t think Ireland or UK would have ranked first. Because in terms of commercialization, if you talk about global food production then you can’t leave America out…”Mr Charles Nyaaba
Challenges in implementing PFJ
Mr Nyaaba intimated that Planting for Food and Jobs commenced in 2017, with the aim to ensure that we have “enough food for consumption” and create jobs. He indicated that it was intended to provide “raw materials for industries” as well. However, some years down the line, Ghana cannot still boast of “enough food in the market for the ordinary person”.
“Today… there are food commodities that you’ll not even get to buy; there’s shortage. We have the opportunity, we have the resources to be able to change this trend. But we are not putting in place enough measures to ensure that the ordinary farmer is able to increase productivity. Even though so much money went into the agriculture sector, I’m thinking that we’ll be able to strategize in a way that we’ll get the results that merits the investment that is going into the sector”.Mr Charles Nyaaba
Planting for Food and Jobs
On his part, CEO for the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, Anthony SK Morrison, disclosed that Ghana’s performance is good. He revealed that we have done well despite the fact that we haven’t followed “through with our policies very well”.
Mr Morrison indicated that the Global Index is something we need to look into a little bit deeper to see how it actually “correspond with challenges on the ground”.
“It [PFJ] is the major government policy for the agricultural sector. So, that implies that we haven’t done very well. I think that we got about 28% which is far below. Likewise on the supply chain we seem to have done well and also on the micro nutrition. We haven’t seen much on climate change adaptation in there, we haven’t seen much of financing for the food sector… That also implies that government needs to listen more to private sector and civil society organizations”.Mr Anthony SK Morrison