World Food Day 2021: NAFCO Calls For Scaled Up Investment For Food Security
The National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) has called for a renewed commitment among stakeholders towards the attainment of food security in the country as Ghana joins the rest of the world to mark World Food Day.
In a statement issued by the company in Accra to commemorate this year’s World Food Day, NAFCO has urged an amplified demonstration of assurance to re-affirm what it calls non-negotiable duty to prevent hunger, diseases and poverty arising out of food shortages or total absence of the same.
World Food Day is celebrated on 16th October every year around the world to promote global awareness against hunger and highlight the need for member countries of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to prioritize and ensure food security.
This year’s celebration is on the theme ” Our actions are our future – better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life” and the global celebration is focusing on sustainable food security strategies amidst the covid-19 pandemic.
The statement said even though the government has done commendably well to ensure food production and availability through strategic interventions such as the Planting for Food and Jobs as well as the Fertilizer subsidy, increased funding to facilitate storage, processing and marketing of same will strengthen the country’s resolve to ensure adequate food security on a long-term basis.
The statement also said adequate funding is also required to ensure the continued existence and operationalization of strategic institutions set up to work towards the attainment of food security goals.
The statement comes days after the release of the latest Global Food Security Index published by London based The Economist Magazine on Tuesday with Ghana being ranked 82 out of 113 countries.
The annual index ranks countries based on affordability, availability, as well as quality and safety of food.
Ghana scored an overall mark of 52 out of 100 on the Global Food Security Index.
On availability of food, Ghana scored 48.6 out of 100, whilst on affordability, the country scored 60 points out of 100.
Countries like Sri Lanka, Mali and Pakistan performed better than Ghana on the index which reported Ireland as the world’s most food secured country, followed by Austria, and then the UK.
On the African continent, Ghana placed 4th on the ranking out of 28 African countries with reported scores.
NAFCO was set up by the government in 2010 to among other mandates, hold strategic food stocks for the country while helping to eliminate post-harvest losses.
Over the years, however, lack of funds has hampered the attainment of this objective, prompting calls for significant investment towards food security mechanisms in the country.
The company also supply food to state institutions and since 2017, it has been responsibly for the supply of non-perishable food commodities to public senior high schools under the Free Senior High School (FSHS) programme.
The company continues to play a significant role in the nation’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic through the provision of essential food commodities to the Pentecost Convention Center (PCC) in the Central Region and Pantang Hospital where persons who tested positive for the virus are detained.