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28.10.2005 General News

FoodSPAN supports government for a review

By GNA
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Accra, Oct. 28, GNA - The Food Security Policy Advocacy Network (FoodSPAN), an umbrella organisation for civil society organisations, on Friday declared support for the Government in the review of international trade rules that were inimical to the nation's development.

The policy intervention should address trade liberalization that emanates from the negative effects of international trade policies in which foreign products are dumped on developing countries. In a six-point communiqu=E9 at the end of a three-day capacity building workshop FoodSPAN asked government to make policy interventions that would enable small scale farmers to improve their food security and livelihoods.

The workshop was to engage participants drawn from civil society groups to discuss policies affecting food security in Ghana to ensure that the interest of the poor and the marginalised were kept at the centre of issues.

They declared: "We will use all legal forms of action including popular mobilization to ensure that policy makers take up issues impacting on food security in Ghana."

It said good agricultural policy interventions would also assist the farmers to earn more and contribute effectively to poverty reduction, especially in the rural areas.

The communiqu=E9 also asked government to ensure that mechanization of agriculture was operative to transform the lots of the small-scale farmers as they constituted the majority of the country's food producers and yet they remained the poorest.

It said it however acknowledged that advocating on policy issues was a critical necessity for sustainable development and urged all civil society organisations to join hands with policy-makers to achieve food security.

Ms Taaka Awori Akuffo-Gyimah, Country Director, ActionAid Ghana, said the fundamental right to food was a major pillar for ActionAid and its partners.

She congratulated the organisers for carving a critical role in advocating for food security.

She said FoodSPAN's strategic approach recognised the importance of food security to the enjoyment of other rights and for the fact that there was pervasive food insecurity in Ghana. "Food security is slowly being undermined by policies that simply reproduce the status-quo and continual neo-liberal agenda." She called for intensive advocacy to change the development paradigm.

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