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Climate change is a threat to food security - Minister


Ms. Anna Nyamekye, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, on Thursday identified climate change and environmental degradation as key challenges facing the growth and development of the agricultural sector.

She noted that rise in temperature had also caused immense damage to both aquatic and terrestrial life.

"We are getting low fish catch and lower yields these days due to these changes which plant and animal life are so sensitive to".

Ms. Nyamekye said this at the launch of this year's World Rural Women's Day, which formed part of the activities to mark the 28th World Food Day on the theme: “Climate Change on Food Security: The Role of Women.”

She said studies by Stanford University revealed that maize production would reduce by 30 per cent in 20 years while millet and rice were projected to drop 10 per cent.

"The poor are the hardest hit by the effects of climate change and for most farmers it is a question of life and death."

Flooding in some parts of the country, rise in the levels of the sea, erratic rains, disappearance of perennial rivers and droughts are some of the impacts of climate change.

Ms Nyamekye cautioned Ghanaians and farmers in particular to be alive with programmes, which caused damage to the environment.

She noted that the ministry had a programme on sustainable land management, which sought to address issues on the effect of climate change.

"I will entreat you to be receptive to natural resource management approaches which focus on sustainable methods to cope with the changes.”

Mr Kofi Allotey, Municipal Chief Executive, Ga East Municipal Assembly, stressed the need to promote irrigation and water harvesting techniques, preserve water bodies, prevent construction on waterways and manage proper production methods to ensure food security.

"Erratic climate trends therefore place a greater responsibility on us to draw policies to ensure that in times when the climate fails us, there will be enough for local consumption," he added.

Mr Allotey appealed to land owners and communities to develop green belts and intensify production in their respective areas to reduce the impact.