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17.10.2008 General News

Government Urges WFD Committee To Be Proactive

By ISD (Daniel Agyiri)

The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon Ernest Akubuor Debrah, yesterday at the 2008 World Food Day Celebrations in Accra, appealed to the World Food Day (WFD) Planning Committee to implement Telefood activities so as to generate more resources for the rural farmer to increase farm produce  as practiced  the world over.

Telefood programme was launched in 1997 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of UN as a supplement to the WFD celebrations to harness contributions from movie and football stars musicians, media, celebrities and concerned citizens as well as government's dignitaries to support the disadvantaged and small scale business and farming projects.

'We must not always rely on government to take up these responsibilities,' Hon Debrah added.

Delivering the speech on theme, 'World Food Security: Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy' on behalf of Hon Debrah, the Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture Hon Anna Nyamekye, expressed  delight in the fact that the international community is gradually recognising the impact of climate change and Bioenergy on food security.

He lamented that climate change is affecting the farming seasons and Bioenergy is competing with food crop production as well as for land.

Climate change affects everyone and said the worst hit will be hundreds of millions of small- scale farmers, fishers and forest- dependent people who are already vulnerable and food insecure.  

Mr Debrah noted that the WFD provides an occasion to highlight the plight of over 862 million undernourished people in the world which most of them live in rural areas where their main sources of income is the agriculture sector.

To avert the situation, the Minister said it requires a collective effort to stop destroying the environment, 'which is our home and source of food. We must adopt good farming methods and farmers should abide by advice of the Extension Agents of Ministry of Food and Agriculture.'

The Minister for Fisheries, Hon Gladys Asmah, on her part, congratulated the FAO for reminding Ghanaians constantly about the vital need to conserve the environment so food and fish production will not be adversely affected.   

Deputy Regional Representative Officer- in charge of SFW/ FAO Representative in Ghana, Ms Maria Semedo said Ghana has made significant stride to reduce hunger and poverty and is regarded as one of the few African countries that are likely to achieve the first Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

She added that this positive outlook may be derailed by climate change, among many other factors, including soaring food prices.