19.09.2004 General News

Ghana needs to be Food Self-sufficient - GAWU

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Accra Sept. 19, GNA - The Reverend Dr. Samuel Asuming Brempong, of the Department of Agriculture, Economics and Agribusiness on Saturday urged farmers and the society at large to address the problem of rainfall agriculture to enable the country to be Food Self-sufficient. He said: "even though the country is food secured, it is not self-sufficient because, we are not able to produce all the food we need as a country as we still import rice, tomatoes and other foodstuffs at times".

Rev. Dr Asuming Brempong, who was speaking at the seminar organized by the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) to educate the media on food security concerns said there was also the need to improve processing and reduce post harvest losses.

He said farming would be more attractive and a lot of the youth could go into Agriculture if there were improved markets both for inputs and outputs.

He noted that the country 's food security record since independence had been good, adding, "with the exception of maize, food supply situation looks favourable in almost all the regions". "The good minor rains plus carry over stocks depressed prices from 2002 were the prior factors in the overall relative food price stability in 2003," he added.

Rev. Dr. Asuming Brempong however, said the stable prices discouraged some farmers from maintaining 2002 farm size or increasing area planted in the current year.

On National Food Production, Rev. Dr. Asuming Brempong said five-year averages show that the per capita productions of many staple crops were lower in the second half of the 1970s. He said since the mid-1980s there had generally been an upward trend in food production, even though there were fluctuations. "The per capita consumption of the imported cereals was quite small between 1970 and 2000. The per capita consumption for rice had rather increased further than other cereals," he added.

Mr Kingsley Ofei Nkansah, General Secretary of GAWU said his organization wants to ensure that every citizen was secured in terms of food.

He said GAWU was committed to advancing the Millennium Development Goal since it first aimed at reducing poverty and hunger.

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