President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured the United Nations Food Systems Summit of Ghana’s commitment to adequately support the country’s agricultural sector to ensure food security.
Addressing the summit on Thursday, President Akufo-Addo said his government will also provide the necessary leadership that will fashion out appropriate policies aimed at ensuring zero hunger.
“As president of the Republic of Ghana, I commit to providing the requisite leadership to strengthen food systems governance including the integration of these commitments into our planning and budget cycle,” he said.
The president also committed his government to “ensuring policy, legal and institutional coherence; multisectoral and inter-ministerial coordination and sustainable financing of underfunded areas of the food system.”
The president also committed to increasing women’s involvement in the agriculture index by 20%. He additionally committed to supporting increased production of fruit and vegetables production by expanding proportion of land area under irrigation from 24% to 30%.
The president also committed to promoting seed security, breed security and land security for Ghanaian farmers especially women and youth in agriculture. He assured there will be the generation of the right data and research to monitor progress over time.
The Food Systems Summit held on Thursday and Friday in New York and virtually was charged with launching bold, new actions to help deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), each of which relies to some degree on the goal of achieving zero hunger. The meeting was deemed necessary because the world currently is not on track to meet the zero-hunger target and other SDGs by 2030 unless drastic actions are taken.
President of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the United Nation Secretary General’s Envoy for the Food Summit Systems 2021 Dr. Agnes Kalibata told the summit “food systems have incredible power to end hunger, build healthier lives, and sustain our beautiful planet. This summit is a turning point for our food systems. But the hard work starts here.”
“African leadership has taken the idea of a food system to a new level. Forty-eight out 55 countries had national Dialogues targeted at coming through on the 2030 agenda and redefining the future of how we consume, produce and distribute food,” Dr. Kalibata explained.
“Across the region, countries are prioritizing 43 of the 52 solution clusters from Action Tracks around major priorities; ending hunger and nourishing people, addressing impact to climate, and unleashing the power of markets and trade to address the challenge of equity and equality. These 43 solutions also help courtiers to address the varied issues across food systems and to accommodate the different communities, cultures, and circumstances,” the president of AGRA noted.
Josefa Sacko, the African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment, delivered Africa’s Common Position for transforming world food systems at the summit.
“Africa plans to double food production by sustainably increasing productivity through the adoption of high-yielding agricultural varieties, while supporting research to develop biotechnology and innovation,” she said.
Rwanda President Paul Kagame also told the summit: “transformation of our food systems is therefore a necessity, including greater investments in digital technologies, biotechnologies, accessible financial services and other proven innovations,”
Other world leaders called for increased investment in science research, access to markets, and improved seed systems as part of efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goal on zero hunger.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called for research, investments and advanced technology sharing for agricultural development to ensure a resilient food system. Agritech and food tech can help improve food production in challenging environments like semi-arid region, Oded Forer who is Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in Israel told the summit. “We must use the power of ingenuity to improve on food systems so they provide safe, nutritious, affordable, and accessible food for all, while conserving natural resources and combating the climate crisis,” US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told the summit.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the summit that a changing climate is posing new problems for agriculture, even as producing, processing, packaging and distributing food accounts for one-third of the manmade heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming. “Food systems can and must play a leading role in addressing all of these challenges,” he said in a video speech.