The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, has stated that an investment in agriculture is the only effective way to pull people and the entire nation out of poverty.
“This explains why the issue of meeting the food requirement of humanity engages the attention of all governments, confirming the fact that the sovereignty of any nation lies in her ability to feed herself and indeed become self-sufficient in food staples,” he added.
The Minister said this on Thursday at the 2023 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research World Food Day Celebration in Accra.
He advocated for a comprehensive approach to agriculture that connects laboratory research with practical implementation in the fields, markets and financial institutions.
According to him, innovation in other fields such as telecommunications, microfinance and micro-insurance could also help farmers.
The Minister added that “Innovations like these are a crucial piece to what must be a comprehensive approach to agriculture, one that connects the tools developed in the laboratories to the field where farmers are every day, the markets where crops are bought and sold, the financial institution where farmers access to credit to invest in new seeds, fertilizer, equipment.”
He commended the government for taking practical steps to ensure that post-harvest management was integrated into all its agricultural programmes, such as the Planting for Food and Jobs.
Dr Afriyie said the government was dedicated to nutrition, particularly for young children, as an essential component of development. Good nutrition during early childhood, he explained, has a lasting impact on health and reduces healthcare costs.
He challenged the youth to engage in service, particularly in rebuilding the agricultural sector and assisting those in need. Similarly, he called on them to use their knowledge of artificial intelligence to reconnect deprived communities and contribute to the nation’s development.
The World Food Day commemorates the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in 1945.
Joyce Adwoa Animia Ocran, ISD