The Centre for Women in Agriculture and Nutrition in Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Wa has commended the Government for its efforts aimed at reducing food loss in the country
It particularly commended the government for introducing programmes like the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), the One-District-One-Warehouse, the One-District-One-Factory, and others, which were contributing towards ensuring that food loss was reduced.
Mr Emmanuel W. Wullingdool, the Executive Director of the Centre for Women in Agriculture and Nutrition in Ghana gave the commendation in a statement issued and copied the GNA in Wa to mark the celebration of the first International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW).
The statement noted that globally, it was estimated that 14 per cent of the food produced for consumption each year was lost between harvest and the wholesale market.
“Also, it is estimated that 38 percent of total energy consumption in the global food system utilized to produce food is either lost or wasted (FAO, 2015)”, the statement added.
In Ghana, the statement pointed out that data available showed that the country losses US$700,000.00 annually to post harvest losses, hinting also that 20-50 percent of perishables like fruits, vegetables, tubers were lost on annual basis.
According to the statement, studies also showed that a substantial quantity of maize and groundnuts produced in the country were infected with aflatoxins and risk rejection in international markets.
“Therefore, though efforts of the government are commendable, there remained a lot more to be done to ensure food loss and waste minimized”, it said.
The statement noted that in the light of these intractable challenges, there was the need for an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensure that the issue of food loss and waste was significantly reduced in Ghana.
“Food loss and waste is a complex issue that required a multi-stakeholder approach to get it well addressed”, it stressed.
It urged the government to continue to lead the process by ensuring policies regarding food loss and waste were effectively implemented, adding that, this must be complemented with the construction of good roads, the provision of extension advice to farmers, the construction of pack houses, and the provision of quality credit to key actors among others.
The statement called for government input-subsidy policy under the PFJ to be extended to cover hermitic sacks to help small holder farmers especially women to store their grains after harvest.
“Other major actors like the private sector, the academia, the media, farmers, consumers, and all key actors need to work and back the efforts of Government to ensure that effective and sustainable solutions are put in place to curb food loss and waste”, it appealed.
It noted that since Agriculture held the promise to ensure the economy remained resilient in this era of COVID-19, it was important that efforts be made to ensure food loss and waste were addressed to unleash the full potential in the sector.
“As the world marks the first IDAFLW on this day, may it re-awaken the consciousness of Ghanaians especially actors in the agribusiness space to adopt measures that can address food loss and waste”, the statement concluded.
The first IDAFLW was instituted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO-UN) to be celebrated annually on September 29th, 2020, to make a clear call to action for both the public and private sectors to bolster efforts to reduce food loss and waste toward ensuring food security for all and particularly the most vulnerable, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.