The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has announced that it is engaging with stakeholders in the industry to craft remedial measures for immediate response to COVID-19 and also design post-COVID interventions.
They include input distributors, importers of food items, collaborating MDAs, Ghana Commodity Exchange and its development partners.
Speaking at a press briefing to update the citizenry on food security in Accra, the sector Minister Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said in the wake of export bans, his outfit is compelled to put strategic measures in place to ramp up production of all of Ghana’s our key commodities.
“It also gives us the opportunity to intensify agro processing, thus reducing post-harvest losses, enhancing all-year round food availability and creating jobs,” he said.
“We are beginning to receive support and cooperation from our stakeholders to implement our plans to combat the pandemic. Our Development Partners have indicated their commitment to support our plans by restructuring on-going programmes to respond to the emergency situation or provide new funding where possible. On Monday 20th April, 2020, the Ministry received a presentation of PPE’s and cash donation of GH¢10, 000 from AGRA, mobilized from its Country staff. The cash is to serve as seed money for the COVID-19 Fund for Agriculture and Food Security. This is a gesture worth emulating,” he added.
He mentioned market surveillance, PPE’s for Extension Agents, development of guidelines for production, public education through video and print, facilitating inputs distribution among other things as some of the immediate actions currently been undertaken.
“Medium-term actions include facilitating access to credit for producers, aggregators and processors, supporting NAFCO to mop up strategic stocks for food security, re-establish early warning system to provide regular update on food situation and establishment of COVID-19 Fund for Agriculture and Food Security,” he added.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto pledged the government’s commitment to “intensify our efforts and urge all meaning Ghanaians to come on board.”