Your Excellency Vice President of the Republic of Ghana – Dr Mahamadu Bawumia
Honourable Minister of State at the Presidency in-charge of Food & Agriculture – Dr Gyeile Nurah
Honourable Northern Regional Minister – Mr Salifu Saeed
Chief Executive of the Northern Development Authority – Alhaji Abdel-Majeed Haroun
Your Excellency the Canadian High Commissioner – Ms Heather Cameron
Your Excellency the Netherlands Ambassador – Mr Ron Strikker
USAID Global Administrator – Mr Mark Green
Our eminent Chiefs and Traditional Authorities
Regional Directors, Municipal Chief Executives and officials from Ministries, Departments and Agencies
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
All protocol observed
It is my pleasure to participate in the 8th Annual Pre-Harvest Conference and Exhibition in Tamale, my first since I came to Ghana a year ago.
Let me start by thanking the past organizers, USAID and the current organizers, Agrihouse and the steering committee, for institutionalizing this event on the calendar of stakeholders in the food security, agriculture and agribusiness sectors.
Indeed, the World Food Programme is pleased that such events continue to link actors across the food value chain. We are particularly interested in its benefits to smallholder farmers who produce majority of the food but remain among the most food-insecure livelihood groups in Ghana.
When the world adopted the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, WFP globally decided to strategically focus its support to national governments on SDG 2 – Zero Hunger and 17 – Partnerships.
Consequently, WFP nominated the former President, His Excellency John Kufuor and his foundation, to facilitate the development of the Zero Hunger Strategic Review on Ghana. The Review was launched by His Excellency the President Nana Akufo-Addo in May this year.
The Review identifies the triple burden of malnutrition, reduction of post-harvest losses, improvement of linkages between smallholder farmers and markets, enhancement of food safety in value chains, and mapping of food-insecure populations, as key gaps which need to be addressed for Ghana to achieve zero hunger by 2030.
It is worth noting that these gaps are reflected in the Government’s Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Warehouse, One District One Factory and One Village One Dam initiatives and have largely informed current WFP programmes, as well as the future direction as formulated in our Country Strategic Plan for 2019-2023.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, kindly join me in thanking the Government of Canada for its exceptional partnership and consistent flexible multi-year funding which has allowed WFP in Ghana to embark on a new chapter of innovative integrated food security and nutrition programming, with the private sector at the centre.
This innovative programme is centred around two Ghanaian-owned industrial agro-processors in Kumasi and Sunyani. They have received funding and technical expertise to enable them produce specialized fortified nutritious foods of international standards. These foods are available on the Ghanaian market, helping to prevent malnutrition, particularly stunting among children. Ten thousand smallholder farmers in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions, have been identified to be linked to these agro-processors as a market for their produce. Some of the lead farmers are participating in this event.
It is my ardent hope that the 8th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Event will truly highlight agro-economic opportunities for farmers, agribusiness, input dealers, investors, financial institutions, government and non-governmental institutions, policy-makers, municipal and district chief executives, and others.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, WFP is keen on working with all stakeholders for the transformation of agriculture, agribusiness and food security into a more inclusive, equitable, climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive sector, oriented to improve the lives of rural poor food-insecure people.
Thank you for your kind attention.