03.04.2020 Feature Article

Covid-19: Food Supply and Sustainability

Covid-19: Food Supply and Sustainability
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The outbreak of novel coronavirus, which is threatening to spiral out of control, globally, hints on the need for Ghana to have abundant food production and a sustainable food supply chain. There is the need to reduce over reliance on importation of food and other items from China, Thailand and India.

In the events of global catastrophes, demands for food, energy and medical supplies for example, increase. In the current situation, freight transport modes have been disrupted. This means that scarcities or delays in delivery of imported items may occur so there is the need to strengthen the local supply chain.

President Akufo Addo’s planting for food and jobs has ensured availability of our local foodstuffs on the market. There comes the question of storage. For how long can we store our foodstuffs and in which ways? The Ministry of Agriculture and those in Agro business must proactively teach the farmers new solutions to ensure that a swathe of the farm produce does not go waste.

In case covid-19 is not subdued anytime soon, there could be shortages of food, medical supplies and other much needed items on the international market. Each nation may begin to protect what is available in their country.

China and India alone, account for more than one-third of the world’s population (34.2%). How much will they have left to sell to Ghana? We should have seized the opportunity to sell or supply food and services to the two Asian giants.

More importantly, there is the need to add value to our local produce through new processing technologies, storage facilities and packaging solutions, while supporting the base of our food supply chain. Farmers mostly blame poor intermodal roads for post-harvest losses. Are the roads the culprits for our inability to sustain food production and availability of food on the markets?

The government, Ministry of Feeder Roads, private businesses, farmers and all other stakeholders must do their part to ensure food security in the country. This will provide more job opportunities for the youth, increase in yields and export.

When the dust settles, let us employ modern technologies to increase our self-reliance and readiness to help other nations.

Please send your comments.

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