Professor Saa Dittoh, a Former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS) has stated that food production all over the world should be aimed providing nutritious food and not a making money venture.
“I can assure you that the moment you try to make money out of food, the less it becomes for nutrition”, he emphasized. “That we are not producing food to feed but rather to make money is a worldwide tragedy”, he further emphasized.
Prof. Dittoh stated this while delivering a presentation titled “Investing in Nutrition for Sustainable Development” during the Upper West Regional Nutrition Review and Advocacy Meeting in Wa organized by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in collaboration with the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and sponsored by the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV).
The Former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UDS said it was this mentality that all were now focused on promoting hybrid maize and questioned what was so special about hybrid maize that people have to abandon local varieties for it. “We are in big crisis as far as nutrition is concern and in fact if care is not taken, we will be producing toxic bacteria for people to consume everyday”, he added.
Prof. Dittoh also blamed the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Agriculture training Institutions for training farmers and students on how to engage in agriculture and make money and not how to produce good food for people to consume.
The Former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UDS was however happy that the United Nations really understood the present system and the direction the world should be heading and that was why they were pushing for zero hunger in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He noted that what the Millennium Development Goals MDGs/SDGs were trying to do was to emphasize the development of people but hinted that the MDGs/SDGs were still struggling to get people to re-orient their minds.
“The environment is also important because without it you can never eradicate poverty and under-nutrition”, he said and noted that it was the reason why eight of the MDGs and 12 of the SDGs contained indicators that were very relevant to nutrition.
Prof. Dittoh said it was important to note that food stability, sustainability and sovereignty were very important because they were the real determinants of nutrition. He said the problem with getting good nutrition was in two folds with the first one being genuine ignorance and the second being the silent opposition, stressing that “The world was so criminal that people can kill others just to get money”.
“Those who have money and can invest in agriculture were not interested in what interest the poor countries but rather interested in selling their chemicals”, he stressed. Prof. Dittoh said this explained why the subsidized fertilizer was so poor in quality, hinting that some farmers have already started rejecting it because they have realized the harm it was causing to their farm lands.