Posts

6 Facts About Hunger in Ghana The Republic of Ghana is located on the West African Gulf of Guinea. Ghana is known for being a well-developed nation that is progressing more toward modernism every day. With a population of 28.8 million people, 24.2% or nearly 7 million people live below the poverty line. These are six facts about hunger in Ghana.

6 Facts About Hunger in Ghana

  1. Over the last 2 decades, Ghana has reduced hunger and poverty within its population. Poverty affects farmers in rural cities. In addition, most are living without clean water or access to healthcare. About 90% of families or 25.9 million citizens in Ghana rely solely on agriculture.
  2. Rural poverty is easily attributed to insufficient food systems. This is mostly due to Ghana being reliant on the rainy seasons. The south of Ghana gets two rainy seasons and the north only gets one. As a result of this, the north is often lacking in agricultural resources and goods more so than the south.
  3. Farmers in North Ghana tend to have unsustainable farming equipment. The equipment does not last from season to season. Poverty-stricken areas obviously struggle to sustain secure food supplies and often experience shortages, given all of the variables. Because of the food shortages, prices go up and the impoverished are in a harder spot than before to sell and purchase goods.
  4. The World Food Program (WFP) has been working to fight poverty and food insecurity in Ghana since 1963. Education, food security and sustainability training have been the main focuses of the WFP. Working alongside the Ministry of Agriculture, 1,500 farmers in small-scale areas have been able to participate in the Purchase for Progress program. Additionally, The Purchase for Progress program builds a sustainable future for rural farmers by building stronger markets. The program also brings communities out of poverty and contributing to the sustainability goals that will keep fewer people impoverished.
  5. While the numbers may seem grim, 4% of Ghanaians are at risk of being food insecure or undernourished. However, things seem more positive when you compare this to the entire African region, where 20% of citizens are at risk. In 2018, Feed the Future provided $9.3 million of loans to small businesses and farmers for quality equipment and supplies. Also, this keeps businesses from being unable to operate due to a lack of resources and funds.
  6. In 2018, Feed the Future supported the newly developed Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources. This allows the delivery services of the aforementioned goods to reach the small and rural communities that needed it most. Clean water and sanitation resources were distributed to 110,000 households in 1,800 rural communities.

While hunger in Ghana has been a struggle, that will not always be the case. Over the last 20 years, Ghana has progressed past mass food insecurity and malnourishment. Sustainability and persistent progress have allowed for the capital, Accra, to become metropolitan. The modernized version of Ghana includes less impoverished families and less food insecure communities.

Kim Elsey
Photo: Flickr

food for all africaElijah Amoo Addo was the head chef at a restaurant in Accra, Ghana. It was here he saw a homeless, mentally challenged man shuffling through the dumpster to find food to feed himself, and friends, living on the street. After witnessing the man looking for food, Addo decided that the unused food from his restaurant would no longer be thrown away, but rather be used to feed people in need. This was just the beginning of what was to become Food For All Africa.

Researching Solutions

The first step Addo took in acting out his vision was starting an advocacy group to research the issues surrounding food insecurity in Ghana. Furthermore, he created a social intervention program.

Through this research, Addo learned that the Ghanaian government prioritized the ‘building [of] a sustainable food system’. In Ghana, one of West Africa’s most developed countries, nearly one-third of the population is living on less than $1.25 a day. As a result of the low income, many do not obtain the proper amount of food.

Launching Food for All Africa

After seeing the results of his research, Addo quit his job, opting to apply to the West Africa Regional Leadership Center. With the leadership knowledge and business skills Addo developed, he launched Food for All Africa. Its mission statement is “To create sustainable means of nutrition for the vulnerable in society.”

Addo and his team at Food for All Africa aim to reduce food waste. They create efficient nutrition systems for low-income communities by redistributing leftover food from restaurants. Additionally, they work with rural farmers to use their produce at urban hospitality companies.

The Food for All Africa organization also facilitates discussions regarding the food supply chain. It considers areas which need to be improved as well as creating a more sustainable food supply chain throughout Africa.

The Far-Reaching Impact of Food for All Africa

Currently, the organization gets $5,700 worth of food from businesses within the food supply chain, each month to contribute to the food bank. Food For All Africa provides about 48,000 meals to people annually.

Food for All Africa is hoping to reach and impact 1 million low-income people by 2020. To help achieve this goal, the organization is working with orphanages, schools as well as vulnerable communities.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr

Food Security in GhanaAlloysius Attah grew up on one of the many maize farms in the Volta region of Ghana, under his aunt’s care. But after 15 years of farming, Attah knew very well the number of challenges small-scale farmers endure, and he wanted to do something about it.

The main challenge Ghanaian farmers face is that they have little or no access to farming information and services. Only those in the cities of Ghana have access to updates on market prices, growth innovations and weather patterns. For Ghanaian farmers in rural areas like Volta, predicting even the next day’s weather is difficult, and could mean a huge difference in revenue for the farm. Even when this information was available, it is usually not in languages farmers could understand, given Ghana’s vast language and dialect diversity.

Almost half of Ghana’s working population and its land are involved in farming.  TheWorld Bank suggests that around 80 percent of agricultural output in Ghana comes from small-scale farms. Food security in Ghana is imperative to the country’s stability. When these farms succeed, the whole country succeeds. When they don’t, thousands of people struggle to get enough food to eat.

Attah wanted a way to help farmers receive the information they needed to help their farms thrive. As a young adult, he left his aunt’s farm and started learning how to code, pioneering a career in technology. In 2011, he realized cell phones were the answer. Cellular devices were becoming more popular in Ghana, and most farmers had access to at least a basic cell phone. Even the simplest devices could deliver prerecorded messages with the latest information on productive farming.

Attah began his start-up, Farmerline, and today, it has more than 200,000 farmers using its services to increase food security in Ghana and nine other African countries. The platform offers farmers several services, such as market prices, agricultural tips and weather forecasts in their own local language. It also connects potential buyers and businesses to the farmers, such as NGOs, global food companies and more through farm data, auditing, mapping and profiling services.

The company estimates that some farmers increased their revenues by more than 50 percent using Farmerline. This is a huge return, seeing that Farmerline only costs farmers $2-3 for a few months. The company created a gigantic agricultural network that reaches even more people in need of food. Farmerline broke down literature and language barriers in Ghana. Furthermore, because 80 percent of domestic food production comes from small-scale farms, food security in Ghana is steadily rising.

The company’s success was recognized with the King Baudouin African Development Prize. Along with two other start-ups, Farmerline won 367,000 Ghana Cedi to fund its business in early 2017. Attah is ecstatic with the win, and hopes to use the prize money to expand his business. The field of entrepreneurship in Africa is tricky, given high taxes and a lack of investors. Attah says there are plenty of successful start-ups in Africa, but transforming into a successful long-term business is nearly impossible without significant funding.

Up until now, Farmerline succeeded on the revenues of its customers and partnering NGOs, but the prize money will give it a new boost to take the company to the next level. Several investors and partners from other countries, including Mexico and Peru, have shown an interest in Farmerline’s technology. Attah welcomes the change. He ambitiously wants to help farmers all over the world. Attah hopes by 2020 he can have one million farmers using Farmerline and even more people breaking out of the poverty cycle as food security in Ghana and across the world improves.

Sydney Cooney

Photo: Flickr