The Ghana Food Security Conference 2023 (GHAFSEC) is underway at the Pentecost Convention Centre (PCC) in Gomoa Fetteh. The conference, being broadcast live on Pent TV and Metro TV, has brought together a diverse group of stakeholders in and outside Ghana to address the country’s critical issue of food security.
Prominent figures such as Apostle Eric Nyamekye (Chairman, The Church of Pentecost), represented by Apostle N.Y. Kumi-Larbi, Elder Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong (Executive Chairman, Jospong Group of Companies), Mrs. Adelaide Agyepong (Chief Executive Officer, Asian African Consortium) and Prof. Paul P. Bosu (Director-General of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), among several others are taking part in the event.
In his address, the General Secretary of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Alexander Nana Yaw Kumi-Larbi, highlighted the country’s current challenges of food insecurity, including undernutrition, overnutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies.
He, therefore, commended the initiatives of the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC), the Asian African Consortium (AAC), and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in driving collaboration and innovation towards ensuring food sufficiency.
Apostle Kumi-Larbi also assured JGC/AAC and the CSIR of the Church’s unwavering support in ensuring that the shared dream becomes a reality.
He cited the biblical example of Joseph in Egypt, who successfully implemented a stockpiling system to ensure food security during times of drought and expressed optimism that the conference would achieve its intended objective.
Elder Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, representing the Jospong Group of Companies, emphasised the significance of the venue’s religious atmosphere and the gathering of experts from academia and industry in addressing food security. He also highlighted the attempt of successive governments to address the issue but to no avail while acknowledging the key role of scientists and researchers in dealing with the challenge.
Dr. Agyepong, therefore, expressed Jospong Group’s commitment as a private sector entity to collaborate with scientists and researchers in tackling food security challenges.
He drew parallels to their successful waste management endeavours and stated his outfit’s readiness to support the translation of innovative research in the food sector into practical applications.
According to him, food insecurity contributes to Ghana’s high inflation rate and called for the government’s support in dealing with this once and for all, and reiterated Jospong Group’s willingness to serve the research community and collaborate on all fronts.
In her statement, Mrs. Adelaide Agyepong also expressed gratitude to the participants and highlighted the crucial role of science, research, and development in driving innovation and productivity in the agricultural sector.
She emphasised that agriculture continues to be the backbone of the Ghanaian economy, providing a source of income for about 45% of the population.
Mrs. Agyepong further acknowledged the presence of foreign partners from Thailand and Nigeria at the conference, noting that their expertise and experiences in rice production would enrich the discussions. She also stressed the need for immediate measures to enhance food production to combat rising food prices and the risk of increased food imports.
Prof. Paul P. Bosu, Director-General of CSIR, on his part, emphasised the importance of the partnership between the Jospong Group of Companies, the Asian African Consortium, and CSIR in addressing Ghana’s food security concerns.
He highlighted the need to establish inter-institutional technical teams and develop action plans to enhance the production of selected commodities such as rice, jute, maize, soya bean, tomato, and onion.
Prof. Bosu also underscored the significance of efficient coordination, accountability, and financing at the local level to transform Africa’s food systems.
The Ghana Food Security Conference 2023 serves as a crucial platform for stakeholders to engage in discussions and collaboration to enhance food production in the country.
The goal is to bridge the gaps in Ghana’s food security situation through innovation, investment, and sharing best practices. With the participation of local and international partners, the conference provides an opportunity to develop actionable plans, establish timelines, and allocate resources for sustainable food production in Ghana.
As the conference continues, it is hoped that the discussions and partnerships formed will pave the way for a more secure and prosperous future, ensuring that Ghanaians have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to lead active and healthy lives.