The government has been asked to develop a policy to regulate activities of business and middle men in the agricultural sector, as Ghana joined the world to observe the World Food Day (WFD) on Tuesday.
Mr. Edward Kareweh, General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU), said a policy was urgently needed to stop middle men in the food production sector from exploiting and extorting huge sums of money from farmers and consumers which create perpetual poverty.
He told the Goldstreet Business in an interview in Accra that the agricultural system must be organised to check how food stuffs are stored and disposed on the markets, as it contributes to much of the post-harvest losses in the country.
He explained that presently farmers have no ready markets for their produce and there is no conservative use of produce at the farm gates, serving as an avenue for the middle men to exploit both farmers and consumers for maximized profit.
He asked the government to take argic seriously saying “it appears that level of rhetoric about agriculture being the foundation of the Ghanaian economy should be backed by real actions by way of direct investments into the sector”.
Mr. Kareweh charged the government and actors in the agric sector and formulate policies that address challenges in the argic sector and create markets for argic produce.
The Food and Agriculture Organisations (FOA)’s State of Food Security has indicated that over 820 million people are suffering chronic undernourishment,
This year’s WFD was celebrated on the theme; A zero hunger world by 2030n is possible and entreats all nations to work together to ensure everyone, everywhere, has access to the safe, healthy and nutritious food they need.
“To achieve it, we must adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, work with others, share our knowledge and be willing to help change the world for the better,” the FAO said.
Mr. Kareweh, said Ghana must take a look at its production processes and its distribution system and create markets for the agriculture through innovative ways to make agriculture attractive to the youth.
He expressed concern about how the Ghanaian market is already chocked with imported produce.
He said food distribution was a critical factor that must be dealt with saying, “once food is produced, it must be distributed to the markets and to the consumers where it is most needed”.
He stated that the nations distributions systems were very poor in all parts of the country as transporting food by bad roads was the only option.
He suggested that the nation begins to consider and focus on the distribution of food by air and sea, as vibrant domestic agricultural system creates opportunities for imports.
Celebrations in Ghana
In Ghana the day was marked with a ceremony at Nsawam in the Akuapem South Municipality in the Eastern Region.
The FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) engaged local farmers on the need to take actions to ensure that Ghana ends hunger by 2030.
Farmers and institutions who displayed their produce at the event also expressed the need for the nation to collectively end hunger by 2030.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey