Globalisation and trade liberalisation have brought many challenges to Africa.
This blog looks at the situation of food security in Ghana and the region. Our main interest is to identify issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure food security in Ghana and the region.
According to Wikipedia:
Two commonly used definitions of food security come from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):
- Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
- Food security for a household means access by all members at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food security includes at a minimum (1) the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, and (2) an assured ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways (that is, without resorting to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing, or other coping strategies). (USDA)
The stages of food insecurity range from food secure situations to full-scale famine. “Famine and hunger are both rooted in food insecurity. Food insecurity can be categorized as either chronic or transitory. Chronic food insecurity translates into a high degree of vulnerability to famine and hunger; ensuring food security presupposes elimination of that vulnerability. [Chronic] hunger is not famine. It is similar to undernourishment and is related to poverty, existing mainly in poor countries.”
Please lets hear your comments on this issue. Some of the issues under investigation by Food Security Ghana are:
- Block Farming – Why would the government make false claims on the benefits of a good but seemingly faltering programme? >>>
- Smuggling – Massive smuggling is continuing on both the Eastern and Western borders of Ghana with seemingly impunity. Is there more than meets the eye, or putting it bluntly, is there Government involvement? >>>
- Supply and Demand – It is a fact (?) that Ghana can only supply enough rice for about 30 percent of its consumption demand. This dictates that 70 percent of Ghana’s needs have to be met through imports. Are government policies with regards to importation really to the benefit of Ghanaians in general? >>>
- Tariff Differentials - One of the major motivators for smuggling are high import tariffs, and more importantly high differences between neighbouring countries’ duties and taxes. In the rice sector a gap of 24.5 percent exists between import duties to Ghana (37%) and the Ivory Coast (12.5%) leading to massive smuggling on Ghana’s Western Border. >>>
- “Land grabs” – where land traditionally used by local communities is leased or sold to outside investors (from corporations and from governments) are becoming increasingly common across Africa. Whilst many of these deals are for food cultivation, there is a growing interest in growing crops for fuel – agrofuels – particularly to supply the growing EU market. What is the situation in Ghana?