The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has held a fruitful workshop on the Validation of Ghana’s Food Systems Dialogue and Landscape Diagnostic Analytics.
Ghana is one of three African countries including Malawi and Rwanda selected for the United Nations (UN) Food System Summit Dialogues to pilot the Food System Transformative Integrated Policy (FS-TIP) programme after demonstrating courageous leadership in the development and implementation of an ambitious food system policy agenda.
Ghana’s national FSSD process began with the establishment of a national FSSD secretariat which instituted coordinating mechanisms to steer the dialogue process.
The coordinating mechanism included the designation of national convening institutions and the appointment of convening persons. The two convening institutions are the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).
After months of engagement between the various agencies and stakeholders, AGRA has held a crucial workshop for consultants to present work done so far.
At the workshop, there were presentations by both government representatives and the team responsible for the landscape analysis and support to the dialogues.
The important workshop brought to bear the progress of work as stakeholders made various input towards making Ghana’s Food Systems Dialogue and Landscape Diagnostic Analytics better.
Delivering his speech, Chief Director at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture Mr. Patrick Ankobea said at a time when the world’s food systems are at a crossroads, Ghana is not left out.
While expressing appreciation to AGRA for the workshop, he called on stakeholders of Ghana’s Food Systems to continue working to help the country find solutions to its problems.
“We have assembled here to validate report from The UNFSS dialogues in Ghana. Therefore, it is only when we constantly ask questions and have the spirit of inquiry that we can continue to push the frontier. That is precisely why it is so essential to open windows for participatory interaction during this validation workshop.
“Once again, I wish to thank AGRA, International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC), Canada, the Rockefeller’s Nourish People and Planet Initiative for supporting the study and the workshop,” Mr. Patrick Ankobea shared.
On his part, Prof. Amos Laar, Convener for Food Systems Summit in Ghana lamented what he said is the failing food systems in Ghana.
Raising concern over malnutrition and describing Ghana’s Food Systems as unhealthy, unsustainable, and not equitable, he said it is time actions are taken to address the challenges.
Speaking at the workshop, AGRA Policy Analyst Mr. Abdoulaye Djido stressed the importance of the Food System while noting that it is crucial for issues that popped up to be addressed.
“Food Systems are the basis of policies and there must be general orientation and made the responsibility of everyone in a Ghana. I am inclined to recognize that some issues that arose today must be included and addressed as a way forward by the consultants for the finalization of the report on the Ghana Food System Country Dialogue.
“Addressing failures of current food systems under the global COVID-19 pandemic that is putting restrictions on food distribution must be done synergistically combining Policies, Programmes, Investments in a double-duty policy bundle approach.
“I hope that this is just not another dialogue that will end. I hope the experiences will add value to the programmes of Ghana to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” Mr. Djido shared.
He assured that the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa will continue to work with Ghana to come out with the best policies for the country through the Food System.
“Let me assure you that AGRA will rely on your guidance to further identify the most adaptive policies the country Ghana needs.
“I urged consultations to continue discussions to ensure a more comprehensive decision to be taken for the validation of the Ghana Food Systems,” he said.
In his concluding remarks, Mr. Abdoulaye Djido extended appreciation to all stakeholders and partners.
AGRA Support to Ghana’s Food Systems:
AGRA, whose mission is to catalyze an agricultural transformation in Africa through, innovation-driven, sustainable, productivity increases and access to finance that improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, responded to requests from African member states to support their participation in the United Nations Food Systems Summit through Member State Dialogues.
These dialogues offer an organized forum for stakeholders to discuss how to transform agri-food systems and deliver on the SDGs.
With support from IDRC, Ghana, together with Malawi and Rwanda, were selected to participate in this project to support the government led 2021 UN Food System Summit Dialogues and to identify priority, concrete, integrated actions and policies required for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) goals.
Among others, this project intended to test a process for future Food System Dialogues in African countries.
The AGRA-supported project was complemented by the work of other collaborators in the Food-Systems Transformative Integrated Policy Initiative (FS-TIP) that generated food system analyses and diagnostics to inform the Member States’ Dialogues and cross-sectoral policy decisions.
About the UN Food-Systems Summit:
The UN Food System Summit was held in September 2021 as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The Summit was meant to strategize the actions for positive change in Agricultural food systems in the World to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It focused on levers and pathways to shape food systems nationally and globally to accelerate progress in the SDGs.
The Summit was planned to be essentially participatory and consultative and needed the game-changing ideas from the experiences through the national, sub-national, and independent consultations.
This was the first-ever UN Food-Systems Summit, but it builds on decades of countries, civil society, and UN leadership and critical efforts to ensure food security and nutrition for all.