Ghana

Ghana marks 43rd World Food Day in Accra

 This year’s World Food Day was yesterday marked in Accra with a call on Ghanaians to protect the water bodies for healthy consumption.

Under the theme: Water is life, water is food; leave no one behind, the event being the 43rd edition also marked the commemo­ration of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) ‘s 75th anniversary.

The day which is observed every year on October 16, aimed to create awareness of the problem of hunger in the world, promote transfer of technologies to the developing world, and strengthen interna­tional and national solidarity in the struggles against malnutrition and poverty as well as draw attention to the achievements in food and agricultural development.

Speaking at the programme, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Bryan Ache­ampong, in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister, Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo, said the theme was timely and as wa­ter being a basic fundamental human right, it re-echoed the clarion call to tackle global water pollutions and shortages.

He said the fight against illegal mining also known as “galamsey,” by the government needed support as galamsey was a bane to water pollution, and if care is not taken, the generation would be wiped out.”

“We must be aware that it takes a very long time and a lot of funds to rid water of pollutants and as it impacts negatively on human, plant and animal health, the aesthet­ic effects soon wane away,” he added.

The minister underscored the need to take drastic measures to cut down all negative human activities that could lead to the pollu­tion and decimation of the streams, lagoons, rivers, dams, and even potable water that affect the quality water systems the country had.

The Minister of Fisheries and Aquacul­ture, Mavis Hawa Koomson, in a speech read on her behalf by the Deputy Minister, Moses Anim, said the sector contributes significantly to achieving national food and nutritional security.

He said for the year 2022, total domestic fish production stood at 657,272 metric tonnes with per capita consumption of 21.9 kilogram compared to the ECOWAS aver­age of 13 kilogram.

“Most Ghanaians prefer fish to meat for health reasons and for the fact that fish is cheaper than meat. The demand for fish increases annually due to increase in popu­lation and preference for fish compared to meat,” he added.

However, he said the fisheries resources from the traditional sources mainly the sea and inland water bodies had been over ex­ploited due to illegal unregulated fishing and climate change and the inability to properly manage waste which leaves a lot of plastic finding their way into the water bodies, thus affecting the fish catch.

He said as part of measures put in place, the ministry had prepared the Ghana Na­tional Aquaculture Development Plan for the period 2024 to 2028 to serve as the blue print for aquaculture development in the country.

The plan he said when implemented successfully, would increase fish production from aquaculture from 89,326 metric tonnes in 2021 to 211,697 metric tonnes in 2028.

The minister called on all Ghanaians to protect the water bodies for our survival and collectively protect them to restore their healthy condition and also revive lives in them, saying “restoring the healthy condition of the water bodies would result in rebuild­ing the fisheries resources and eventually increase fish production.”

The other partners, World Food Pro­gramme and Food and Agriculture Organi­sation in their speech expressed their contin­uous commitment towards the Government of Ghana, and particularly the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, to support Ghana’s plan for a “food secure future and a water secure future.”

 BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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