Farmer groups and Civil Society Organisations in the agriculture sector have expressed fears over the possibility of food security crisis after the coronavirus pandemic.
Due to this, the farmer groups and CSOs have, in a letter addressed to the President, HE Nana Akuffo-Addo, urged him to also pay attention to agric sector and deploy strategies that will improve the livelihoods of Ghanaians and deflate any threat of food insecurity.
“The obstructions in the transport system, the closure of schools leading to the halting of the school feeding programme that demand food items from farmers directly, the restrictions in movement of farmers in lockdown areas and slowdown in the activities of hospitality industries that demand fresh vegetables and fruits from farmers impede farmers’ direct access to market and could lead to postharvest losses in most perishable goods in rural areas,” portions of the letter dated April 6, 2020 read.
The letter was signed by the Director of Programmes and Advocacy at PFAG, Charles Kwowe Nyaaba, on behalf of the organisations.
Containment measures affecting agribusiness activities
While commending the measures put in place by President Nana Akufo-Addo to fight the covid-19 pandemic in Ghana, the group however, say the measures are creating a disruption in agribusiness activities in the country.
They contend that input supplies, service delivery and movement of extension officers within and outside the restricted zones, the ban on movement of people including seasonal labour migration from and to the restricted regions who form the major source of manpower needs for food production in Ghana and the quarantine measures may cumulatively affect food production.
“As farmers and organisations working in agriculture, we have already taken initiatives and are working with local health authorities and community radio stations to support the public education on COVID-19 with tailored messages for farmers in their local dialects within selected districts.
“In addition, we are ready and willing to offer any support that government may require of us in technical and other aspects that are within our means to fight the pandemic,” the organisations said in the letter to the President.
Imminent danger of food shortage due to Covid-19
Although Agric Minister, Dr. Afriyie Akoto, has earlier assured the country of the availability of enough food stock in the system, the farmer groups and CSOs still insist there is looming danger of food shortage to hit the country.
They, have, therefore tabled before the President some proposals on how Ghana could mitigate the impact of the pandemic on food security.
Other agro-sector think tanks have also warned the government about possible food security challenges post-coronavirus and have called for prompt action.
Below is the statement by the farmer groups and CSOs with a list of proposals on how Ghana can prevent food security challenges after the pandemic.