28 May 2021
Stakeholders call for stronger inter-sectoral linkages and cooperation to transform Ghana’s food systems
Stakeholders in Ghana’s food sector have called for a stronger inter-sectoral linkages and cooperation to transform the country’s food systems into a healthy, equitable, resilient, efficient and sustainable one. They made the call at the launch of the national Food Systems dialogue held in Accra ahead of the UN 2021 Food Systems Summit slated for September. The launch paves the way for a series of dialogues to offer relevant stakeholders in the food systems an opportunity to have a seat at the table to contribute to the Summit’s ambition of transforming our food systems both at the national and global levels. During the launch of the national dialogues, Professor Anna Lartey of the University of Ghana presented an overview of the current global and national food systems and the rationale for the UN Secretary-General’s resolve for the 2021 Food Systems Summit. She indicated that policy actions need to be taken across the entire food system to address emerging challenges in food production and supply chain systems which are contributing factors to malnutrition, obesity, limited healthy choices and diversity and high cost. Ghana’s First Lady, Her Excellency, Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo-Addo observed that the nation has made significant progress in tackling malnutrition in children, yet there are challenges to overcome. The First Lady, a Nutrition Champion, expressed worry about the lack or limited access to safe, affordable and healthy diets which she said ought to be addressed urgently. “Not acting simply means we are condemning a large portion of our population to misery and death. We are also toying with our national development agenda, if we fail to act now”, she noted. Mrs. Akufo-Addo welcomed the concept of a Food Systems Summit, adding that “the food systems dialogue is a wake-up call for us all”. She encouraged stakeholders to seize the moment, “to transform our food systems into a robust one that will promote greater diversity, availability, affordability and healthy diets for all.” Professor George Gyan-Barfour, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) focal person for Ghana, indicated that “the UN Food Systems Summit, which seeks to launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), is built on the foundations of the SUN Movement. He was optimistic that the Summit will trigger the expansion of stakeholder networks in the sector for a stronger and enhanced approach to address food systems. The United Nations in Ghana, represented by the Country Director of IFAD, Salem Hani Abdelkader Elsadani commended the Government of Ghana for prioritising food and nutrition security through several integrated programmes such as the Planting and Rearing for Food and Jobs, aiming at increasing farmer productivity and overall incomes of farmers; the One-district-one-factory, providing an opportunity to increase value addition and create jobs; and the one-village-one dam aimed at increasing all year production. In a statement delivered on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Salem Hani Abdelkader Elsadani pledged the system’s support to these programmes and building stronger partnership towards rebuilding the country’s food system. The 2021 Food Systems Summit, will awaken the world to the fact that we all must work together to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about food. It is a summit for everyone everywhere – a people’s summit. It is also a solutions summit that will require everyone to take action to transform the world’s food systems. Read more about the Summit here.