A study by the World Food Programme and Ghana Statistical Service on Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability in all 260 districts of Ghana has recommended the development of all-year-round irrigation and mechanisation schemes to engender all-year-round food production.
The study, which was conducted in 2020 and covered 65, 309 households nationwide, found about 12% (3,600,000) of households in Ghana were food insecure.
It also found that the rate of food insecurity was more prevalent in rural areas (22%) than in urban areas (78%).
Dr Peter Takyi Peprah of Ghana Statistical Services, who presented the findings on Tuesday, mentioned Kassena Nankana West (78.8), Karega (75.9), Builsa South (74.5), Tatale (68.4), Bolgatanga East (66.3), Kumbungu (61.2), Jirapa (61.0), Chereponi (60.3), Tempane (59.2) and Bongo (57.3) as worse ten districts with food insecurity.
Concerning dietary diversity needs of women between 15 and 49, 59.8 per cent met their dietary diversity needs nationwide while 40.2 did not meet their needs.
With children between 6 and 23 months, only 16.9 per cent met their dietary diversity needs nationally while 83.1 did not meet their needs.
The study, therefore, suggested that the current policy on subsidy of agricultural inputs under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme should be re-packaged to target food and cash crop farmers and agro-pastoralists in food-insecure areas.
It further recommended nutrition education and social behavioural change communication (SBCC) at the community level be promoted to increase the consumption of locally available nutritious foods and specialised nutritious foods.
It suggested strengthening the capacity of staff of the Ministry of Food Agriculture and Ghana Health Service to collect and monitor food security situations quarterly to promote food security.
The World Food Programme Representative and Country Director, Ms Barbara Clemence, said the programme role was evolving from direct assistance to technical assistance and pledged that the WFP would continue to provide humanitarian support as and when it is needed.
She was happy the 2020 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis covered all 260 districts of the country, adding that the data would provide inclusive comparative analysis at the regional and district levels to inform policy formulation.
Ganyo Gerald, ISD