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An animal scientist of the Department of Animal Science, University of Cape Coast, Prof. Julius Hagan has posited that “being unable to predict how much one spends on food due to unstable food prices is an indication of possible food insecurity”.
He added, in every given situation, any individual should be able to calculate how much they spend on food. “But due to the volatility of prices of food on our market, it is not possible to calculate how much one spends on food”.
Prof. Hagan was speaking to Benjamin Tetteh Nartey on the Central Morning Show on GBC Radio Central today Wednesday, 17th August, 2022 discussing “Food Security in Ghana amidst Current Global Challenges”.
He defined food security as the physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food at all times by all people that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.
He however, stressed the fact that, food security could be culturally specific. Thus, “food security is access to enough good, healthy and culturally appropriate food”.
“So, someone cannot say because he doesn’t get apple to eat, Ghana is food insecure. Apple isn’t a staple food in Ghana and cannot be used as an indicator of food security”.
In Ghana, our food security could be based on the availability of common local foodstuff like yam, cassava, maize and cocoyam and as well as the availability of beef, pork, chicken, goat meat, etc.
He further explained that, even if all these local foodstuff are available but are not safe, not readily available and nutritious for the wellbeing of the citizen, then, there is a problem.
In conclusion, he averred that one major problem we have in Ghana is lack of data on the things we produce and consume. “We need to have accurate data on production and consumption of certain local foodstuffs, how many farmers are involved in the production, how much land is available for production, how much inputs is needed and how sustainable the production is. This will help us to have a long term planning instead of the short term approach and responses we employ when crisis come”.
As it stands now, there is still some hope if only we’ll be a little serious with issues pertaining to agriculture production in the country. Short term policies can never address our challenges in the industry.
BY DC KWAME KWAKYE
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