Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, has stated that putting agriculture first will help to secure Ghana’s security.
Food security and national security, he said, are two sides of the same coin because a nation’s ability to produce enough food for its citizens is a major component of its security.
He stated unequivocally that food insecurity is a major driver of conflict and, as a result, insecurity around the world.
“Food insecurity leads to poverty, hunger and anger, creating fertile grounds for conflict due to vulnerability of victims. This is why food production and access are important and must be prioritised at all times,” he added.
Dr Akoto, who said this at the launch of the 2021 Farmers Day Celebration in Accra, added that the government recognises this national potential insecurity problem and would continue to invest in agriculture to drive Ghana’s development.
To that extent, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is educating farmers to fully appreciate the gravity of food insecurity so that the needed solution would be found to fast-track Ghana’s agriculture transformation agenda, he hinted.
He said the government would continue to invest in its flagship agriculture programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs and Rearing for Food and Jobs to ensure that the country produces enough to feed itself and export surplus.
On his part, the Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, said farmers played a pivotal role in national development and were indispensable when it came to the sustenance of Ghanaians.
“It is hard to imagine our fate if there were no farmers to provide our food and nutritional needs for our healthy growth and development,” he said.
He said technology has lessened the labour in agriculture production and wonder why the youth would not take advantage of that to reduce unemployment and create revenue for themselves and the state but rather prefer non-existing white coloured jobs.
He, therefore, called on the government to institute measures that would make agriculture attractive to the youth.
This year’s celebration is slated for 29th of November to the 3rd of December 2021 at Cape Coast, Central Region and the theme for the celebration is: “Planting for Food and Jobs – Consolidating Food Systems in Ghana”.
The celebrations will start on the 29th of November 2021, with an Agricultural Fair, Exhibition and Regional Focus Days, 2nd December will be the ADB Farmers’ Forum and on Friday, 3rd December the celebration would be climax with a Grand Durbar and Award Ceremony.