Accra, Jan. 27, GNA - Ms Paulina Addy, Director of the Women in Agricultural Development (WIAD), has called on Ghanaians to patronize our locally grown food stuff.
She said the locally grown foods are very nutritious and healthy for consumption and consuming them will also help farmers to avoid post-harvest losses.
Ms Addy said this at a stakeholder's forum organized by the Hunger Alliance of Ghana and the Ghana Coalition of Civil Society for Scaling up Nutrition (GHACSSUN) on the theme: 'Food Security and Nutrition.'
She said WIAD was working with the stakeholders to add more locally grown foodstuff and crops to the School Feeding Programme to ensure that the children get adequate nutrition from the food.
'There is a high malnutrition rate in children, especially children under five,' and there is the need to educate parents on the need to feed their children with locally grown foodstuff and crops to deal with malnutrition especially in children
Mr Yakubu Alhassan, Deputy Minister in charge of crops at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said Ghana was relatively food secured, however, the Ministry was monitoring the food supply situation very carefully in view of the bad rainfall performance in the 2015 farming season
He said hunger and malnutrition have become major development issues confronting every government globally.
'Ghana (in 2014) was food secured in the production of most staple foods like, cassava, yam, cocoyam, plantain, maize, sorghum, groundnut and cowpea ,' he said, however, there is a deficit for rice, millet and soybean as well as domestic meat and fish production.
Mr Alhassan said food availability was linked to the cropping season with seasonal rainfall; therefore, food prices were often not stable as pricing was linked to the availability of harvest.
He said policies like the introduction of protected cultivation in our agricultural production system were being implemented among other options to help make available some important vegetables like tomatoes all year round.
The Deputy Minister pledged government's commitment to ensure that the people of Ghana remained safe from hunger and would continue to work with stakeholders to realize and sustain Ghana's food security.
Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, National Nutrition Focal person, expressed worry about the 42.5 per cent of Ghanaian children who are malnourished.
He urged the Hunger Alliance of Ghana and other civil society groups to work with people at the grassroots to ensure that nutrition issues were taken more seriously.