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The Ghana Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report, which is aimed at addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 of ending all forms of hunger and malnutrition, has been launched in Accra.


The Review Report, which is under the auspices of the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation and the World Food Programme, is geared towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goal’s aim to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by the year 2030, ensuring that all people, especially children and the more vulnerable, have access to sufficient and nutritious food all year round.


This involves promoting sustainable agricultural practices of improving the livelihoods and capacities of small scale farmers and allowing equal access to land, technology and markets. It also requires international co-operation to ensure investment in infrastructure and technology to improve agricultural productivity.


Delivering the key note address at the event, the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana had performed quite well in her efforts at reducing hunger.


The President said Ghana was the first country on the African continent to attain the Millennium Development Goal 1 of halving poverty and hunger and was given an award for reducing the level of its malnourished population from 7 million in the early 1990s to less than one million today.


President Akufo-Addo, who paid glowing tribute to President Kufuor for receiving the World Food Prize in 2011, for cutting down hunger during his tenure as President, said much work needed to be done to end hunger, malnutrition, obesity and micronutrient malnutrition in Ghana.


He referred to the Government’s Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (CPESDP) (2017-2024), submitted to Parliament, last year, which touched on the reformation of agriculture and industry—Planting for Food and Jobs— that would engage over five hundred thousand farmers in 2018, an increase from two hundred thousand in 2017; the “One District, One Factory” policy; and the “One Village, One Dam” initiative.


These programmes, among others, the President said, would facilitate rural development and help achieve SDG 2 by 2030.


“Government’s vision is to modernize agriculture, improve production efficiency and achieve food security and profitability for our farmers— all aimed at significantly enhancing agricultural productivity,” he said.


The President explained that the basic objective of the policy was to guarantee food self-sufficiency— able to feed the people and wean Ghana off the disgraceful dependence on the importation of foodstuffs that could be grown locally.


To ensure food security and promote improved nutrition, President Akufo-Addo said, government had made some interventions,  which included institutional measures, to prevent food losses, such as the District Warehousing Policy; promoting the production and utilization of locally grown and nutrient-rich food; strengthening early warning and emergency preparedness systems; developing and implementing a nutrition strategy which adopts a life cycle approach to deal with malnutrition at all levels; reviewing and scaling up the Regenerative Health and Nutrition Programme (RHNP); eliminating child and adult obesity; and promoting research and development in Food and Nutrition Security (FNS).


He said women, as first line educators of children, communities, nations, regions and continents, should be empowered to impart the requisite knowledge to the children and play a key role in achieving food security and improved nutrition.


Ensuring that women play an important role in achieving SDG 2, the President said  women-specific policies to facilitate the achievement of SDG 2 had been put in place, which, he said,  included reducing cultural and administrative limitations that impeded on women’s access to productive resources, particularly access to credit and agricultural equipment.


“The MASLOC programme has, in this respect, been directed to disburse 50 percent of its loans to women engaged in small-scale farming and businesses. Again, the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), a happy product of the Kufuor era, which provides hot meals daily to pupils of public schools, has also been expanded from four thousand, eight hundred and eighty one (4,881) institutions to cover five thousand, five hundred and twenty eight (5,528) institutions,” he said.


Additionally, the President said the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), which provides stipends to vulnerable households, had been nearly doubled to cover some two hundred and thirteen thousand (213,000) households, noting that “all of these are being done with SDG 2 in mind.”


President Akufo-Addo was optimistic and confident about realizing the path towards ending hunger and malnutrition as contained in Government's CPESDP.


“Our goal is to build a wealthy and self-confident Ghana that is in charge of its economic destiny; a transformed Ghana that is prosperous enough to be beyond needing aid and which engages competitively with the rest of the world through trade and investment. We are determined to build a new Ghanaian civilization, that will afford an8 standard of living to all its people,” he said.


President John Agyekum Kufuor on his part, said it was his expectation that the findings of the review report would set the roadmap for Ghana to achieve the SDG2, as well as other support interventions by partners including the UN, based on these findings.


The former President said the team had already held discussions with the Jubilee House where it was agreed that the Ministry of Planning and the National Development Planning Commission should assume responsibility for co-ordination.


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)