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18.10.2013 General News

Ghana reduces hunger among its citizens

By Daily Graphic
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Ghana has reduced the number of its citizens who go hungry daily to only five per cent of the population.

However, nearly one third of the people in the Upper East Region are 'chronically hungry', according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

The Country Director of the WFP, Ms Pippa Bradford, said this at a flag-raising ceremony to commemorate the 33rd World Food Day at the forecourt of the State House in Accra on Wednesday.

This year's celebration was on the theme, 'Sustainable Food Systems for Food and Nutrition'.

Earlier, the dignitaries had gone on a float from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to the forecourt of the State House.

'A quarter of children under the age of five in Ghana are stunted. This means that 800,000 children are unable to grow to meet their full potential,' Ms Bradford said.

She added that anaemia, a micronutrient deficiency that caused chronic illness, fatigue and was the leading cause of maternal mortality, was at 70 per cent in high risk groups in Ghana and added that Vitamin A deficiency, which compromised immunity and could lead to blindness, affected eight out of 10 children under the age of five.

She explained that it was to address those issues that the WFP had been collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture and other government agencies over the years to provide facilities and services for farmers and the people.

She mentioned the rehabilitation of small dams and dugouts and the extension of irrigation systems to communities that used water for food production and also the provision of nutritious food supplements to pregnant women, nursing mothers and children suffering from moderate acute malnutrition.

The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Kofi Humado, said although the government had done a lot to make strides in the area of poverty reduction and reduce the number of people going hungry, it would not be complacent but embark on vigorous policies and programmes to eradicate poverty, malnutrition and hunger.

He said through a new policy which allowed both foreigners and locals to embark on rice production in Ghana, the importation of rice was on the decrease and urged district assemblies to earmark fertile lands for the production of fresh food for the people.

By Donald Ato Dapatem/Daily Graphic/Ghana

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