Stakeholders call for inclusion of indigenous knowledge in Ghana’s agrifood system

food insecurity

Stakeholders at a workshop on the agrifood system outcomes from COP 28 have called for the promotion of more demand-led and user-responsible research for development, and increase the inclusion of indigenous knowledge, seeds, and breeds in Glana’s agrifood system.

food insecurityThe participants also agreed to continuous dialogue on the food system to bring clarity to the expected roles of all key stakeholders, including policy makers, the research community, private sector, financial institutions and traders, among others.

There is also the need for engagement on how to innovatively integrate food systems into international conventions and frameworks to ensure sufficient mainstreaming.

The event was organized by the International Water Management Institute, CGIAR Ghana and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture under the Resilience Against Climate Change-Social Transformation Research and Policy Advocacy (REACH-STR) project, of the European Union-funded Ghana Agriculture Programme.

It was in collaboration with CSIR-Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI), and the Environmental Protection Agency on the theme “COP 28 Declaration on sustainable agriculture, resilient food systems, and climate action: Implications for Ghana’s agrifood system.”

It provided a forum for stakeholders to identify policy incoherences, research priorities and capacity strengthening needs, mechanisms for functional partnerships, and investment opportunities to contribute towards the achievement of the COP 28 agrifood system commitments.

Ghana’s agrifood system plays a critical role in rural livelihoods, food security and economic growth, yet it is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, due to its huge dependence on rainfed agriculture production. Climate change threatens Ghana’s food and nutrition security, and the achievement of the SDGs.

The Heads of State and governments (including Ghana) at COP 28 in December 2023, acknowledged the increasing threat of adverse climate change impacts on agriculture and food systems.

In his presentation on the COP 28 agrifood systems, Dr Kingsley Amoah of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture said Ghana had identified some key priorities that would enable the country to meet its UNFSS and Nutrition for growth commitments by 20230.

The pillars include strengthening the food supply system by reducing post-harvest loss by 25 per cent through investments in appropriate infrastructure as well as reducing food waste, investment in irrigation systems to allow for dry season farming and increasing the availability of food to the poorest.

He said to make a headway Ghana needed to overcome challenges as poor agrifood infrastructure, weak coherence, coordination and partnership barriers and food system actors lack of bargaining as well as price fluctuations.

Dr Amoah said there was a need to strengthen existing partnerships and enhance coordination in the implementation of projects.

There was also consensus on the dissemination of research findings for increased agriculture productivity and effective policy-making, enhancing food safety and preserving biodiversity through the promotion of environmentally safe inputs in agrifood systems and decentralising and depoliticising of national flagship agriculture programmes and investment.

Dr. Olufunke Cofie, Head of the West Africa Office, International Water Management Institute, called for coordinated action to deal with the issues in the agrifood system.



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