Dr Kwaku Afriyie, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has encouraged the populace to consume local foods for the country navigate through the global economic disruptions.
“In these difficult times, it is important to adjust and eat more local foods because they are nutritious, healthy, accessible and can help reduce imports. Our economy will also benefit from such a switch,” he said.
“Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the price of commodities, especially bread has increased and everybody is complaining. Meanwhile, we do not grow the base like wheat in Ghana so why will people not change our eating pattern?” He asked.
Dr Afriyie said this at an event to commemorate this year’s Africa Scientific Renaissance Day (ARSD) celebration, a day dedicated to remember the continent’s tremendous contribution to the rise and development of modern science and technology.
The ASRD is celebrated on June 30 every year in accordance with the African Union resolution passed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 1987.
The celebration was on the theme, “Leveraging Digital Technology for Resilient Food System and Enhanced Food Security in Ghana.”
The Minister said it was crucial for the country to look at the entire food and agriculture systems as the first pillar for health delivery and as key to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals.
He said there was evidence that the application of science and technology through the adoption of the appropriate technology was key to enhancing food security.
Professor Charles Tortoe, the Acting Director of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - Food Research Institute, said a total of 3.6 million people in the country were food insecure.
He noted that 18.2 per cent of Ghana’s rural population was food insecure, out of, which 7.3 per cent was severely food insecure.
Prof Tortoe, referencing the Ghana-2020 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis, said about 10.9 per cent of the 18.2 per cent was moderately food insecure.
He called for the need to develop and strengthen partnerships across disciplines and sectors to ensure that nutrition solutions were holistic, effective, and built on the best information and expertise possible.
Dr Tortoe urged stakeholders to strengthen the food systems by building a linkage between producers and consumers.
“This includes identifying or protecting agricultural practices or food sources that can close nutritional gaps,” he said.