President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that Ghana did not experience a food shortage in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic because of “the bold policies” implemented by his government since 2017.
The President in the first State of the Nation’s Address (SONA) of his second term Tuesday in Parliament said policies such as the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme, Rearing for Food and Jobs, the 1-Village-1-Dam initiative, 1-District-1-Warehouse policy and the establishment of greenhouse villages had prevented Ghana from experiencing a famine.
He said: “Mr Speaker, our nation’s food resilience has been severely tested over the past year. The closure of borders, in the midst of the pandemic, meant that we have had to depend largely on food we produced. We have fared well under the circumstances, largely as a result of the bold policies implemented by government since 2017, such as the programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, Rearing for Food and Jobs, the 1-Village-1-Dam initiative, 1-District-1-Warehouse policy, establishment of greenhouse villages, revitalization of the cocoa rehabilitation programme, and the reactivation of our aquaculture industry. I am happy to inform the House that, during this period of the pandemic, we have experienced no food shortages in the country.”
President Akufo-Addo also stated that there had been increases in the production of important foodstuffs such as maize, tomatoes and plantain.
“There have been increases in maize and rice yields by one hundred and ten percent (110%) and forty-eight percent (48%) respectively. We have, for the first time in a long while, become a net exporter of food, as opposed to the days of importation of tomatoes and plantain. Indeed, in 2019, we exported some one hundred and forty thousand metric tons (140,000 MT) to our neighbours. We are determined to take full advantage of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to produce more in Ghana, to sell more to Africa and beyond, as we move Ghana Beyond Aid”.