ECOWAS, MOFA TO DELIBERATE ON FOOD STORAGE SYSTEM

 ECOWAS, MOFA TO DELIBERATE ON FOOD STORAGE SYSTEM

The ECOWAS Commission and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) are scheduled to hold a forum on the West African Food Storage System.

The forum is scheduled for Wednesday, April 28, 2021 in Accra.

This was announced at a press conference in Accra.

In his address at the joint press conference held on Tuesday, 27th April, 2021, Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Robert Patrick Ankobiah spoke about the importance of paying attention to the issue of food security in the West African Region especially in Ghana where after four years of being in power, the president Nana Akufo-Addo and the sector minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto have put a number of interventions in place to assess the issue of food security.

“The success that has come through the interventions has given us hopes to intensify efforts to ensure that we will build very robust and resilient systems in Ghana. That notwithstanding, we are confronted with a number of problems that continue to threaten our efforts namely; climate change, the problem of environmental degradation, invasion of pests, obsolete methods of production all of which conspire to bring about the problem of low productivity”, Mr. Ankobiah said.

“We are therefore happy that the entire ECOWAS region has come together and deem it fit to examine this issue and ensure that it is addressed sustainably”, Mr. Ankobiah added.

Speaking at the brief conference, the ECOWAS Commissioner for agriculture, environment and water resources, Sekou Sangare, commended some ECOWAS members states who had gone beyond their reach to try to solve the issue of food insecurity in their various countries.

“We have seen that each of the countries has done its best and found ways within their budgets to solve the issue. Most people will be sad to recollect the painful picture painted in the 1970 drought which affected our cattle and individuals but we do not want to see this picture anymore”.

The Commissioner also spoke about the living and production conditions of some farmers which greatly affected food prices, a situation he said must be looked into.

“Food prices have shot up, we must consider and look into what the farmers have been doing while ensuring that food security will be attended to while they attend to the immediate needs of their families”, the commissioner said.

Going forward, the commissioner stated that member states could solve the issue of food insecurity by looking at the village level and how to support one another by making reinforcement a first layer.

The second will be at the national level where governments have decided to set up national companies in charge of food security so they could be able to address the issue when the need arises.

The overall objective is to lay the foundations for a renewed multilateral partnership to strengthen, in a sustainable manner, the resilience of the West African Food Security Storage System and its capacity to respond effectively to the amplification and complexity of food, nutrition and pastoral crises in the region.

The ECOWAS Commission is set to organize from Wednesday,28th April to 10th May 2021, by video conference, an international conference to share with its partners and the other regions of the world, the experience of its regional food security storage system.

The official opening is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 28th April 2021 at 12;00 GMT under the chairmanship of Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and chair to the ECOWAS council of ministers.

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