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Ghana determined to improve national food and nutrition security

25/09/2014

Accra.- According to the latest State of Food and Insecurity in the world (SOFI 2014), Progress in hunger reduction continues. Ghana, in particular, has made considerable progress towards achieving MDG1 target on poverty eradication and food security.

Although the proportion of children under five years of age who are underweight has been nearly halved, less progress has been made in reducing prevalence of stunting. FAO in collaboration with the government of Ghana is exploring ways to maximize nutritional benefits and improve food security interventions.   A national workshop, just held in Accra, served as basis for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to develop a costed Agriculture Nutrition Action Plan to support prioritization, planning and designing nutrition-sensitive agricultural interventions in Ghana as well as Strengthening Nutrition and Agriculture Linkages in the Medium Term Agriculture Investment Plan (METASIP) for Ghana.

“Ghana has mainstreamed nutrition in agriculture and as such MoFA and its partners should coordinate the formulation and development of the national nutrition policy which will eventually improve nutrition in the country”, said Honourable Fifi Kwetey, Ghana’s Minister of Food and Agriculture in a statement read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister in charge of Crops.

Participants at the workshop were expected to adopt a zero draft of nutrition action plan for the agricultural sector and a Road map for finalizing and costing of nutrition action plan for the national agricultural sector and work to improve nutrition and specific nutrition objectives and activities in their programmes.

“Combating under nutrition requires strong intra-sectoral collaboration among technical directorates and collaboration among relevant sectors of agriculture, health, water and sanitation, education, and social protection. It is therefore my hope that this workshop will foster greater collaboration among technical directorates from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture; and between relevant sectors”, said Thiombiano Lamourdia, FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Africa and FAO Ghana Representative in his opening statement.

He further urged participants to continue collaborating with FAO in working towards improving the quality of diets by ensuring a stronger focus on nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and animal-source foods are promoted.

Participants included CAADP Country focal point, SUN Focal point, and Nutrition focal points at the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministries of Health and Finance, National Development Planning Commission, etc.

The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) will be held in Rome from 19 to 21 November 2014, with the participation of Heads of State and Government, under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Conference will be the first high-level intergovernmental conference on nutrition since the First International Conference on Nutrition was organized by FAO and WHO in 1992. The First Conference resulted in a World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition which called on national leaders to develop National Plans of Action for Nutrition and establish institutional infrastructure to implement these plans.

------------ Contact: David Youngs, Communications, FAO Ghana, Email: david.youngs@fao.org