The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Amb Linda Thomas-Greenfield, says Ghana’s quest to be a breadbasket can be fast-tracked through partnerships with the African diaspora and stakeholders.
Speaking on the theme ‘A Vision for Peace and Progress on Food Security in Africa’, Thomas-Greenfield commended Ghana’s progress in addressing food security, despite the outbreak of COVID-19 that affected food production and the supply chain.
However, to boost Ghana’s progress, “It will mean calling on the large and prosperous Africa diaspora to help make progress. Efforts like the 2019 Year of Return are a great way to unlock the potential of the diaspora, which has billions of dollars and vast tropes of priceless experience to offer,” she said.
Reiterating the need for partnership, Amb Linda Thomas-Greenfield says “now is the moment to forge a partnership between civil society and the private sector, to galvanize the diaspora, to take advantage of new technologies and better techniques, to build the food systems and structure of the future.”
The Executive Director of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe bemoaned a decline in the agriculture sector’s contribution to Ghana’s GDP from 29.3% in 2010 to 20.3% in 2015 despite government’s efforts such as ‘Planting for Food and Job’, to salvage the situation.
He advised that: “Food security can only be attained when small and medium enterprises which employ the largest proportion of the workforce and generate the bulk of economic activity become more embedded in the agricultural value chain.”
He further encouraged “the US government to continue to pay critical attention to the needs of partner countries and promote the localization of change programmes. We should for instance shepherd U.S. agriculture and food security investments into increasing access to cheaper finance for agribusinesses and hard infrastructure- adequate roads, border crossings and ports to enhance market access. These contribute to building self-sufficiency of partner countries to build resilience in their agricultural and food systems.”
Also, “creating the optimal economic climate to attract the very high levels of investment required to add value to harvests and build export competitiveness would require strong coordination beyond the traditional food aid nexus.”