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

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation highly anticipates the probability that Africa can eliminate hunger by 2030. Investments by the Foundation have had a profound impact on Ghanaian and Sub-Saharan African government-led programs since 2009. These programs implement useful nutritional habits and information within communities. Bill and Melinda Gates refers to the Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) program as “the backbone of the African economy.”

Every seven out of 10 Sub-Saharan Africans are small farmers. Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) is one branch of HGSF sustaining innovative ways to feed schoolchildren in the nation while benefiting farmers and their families. Partnership for Child Development (PCD) creates school meal planners designed for easy access and usage by each user.

The online tool available at GSFP’s website provides locally available ingredients for users to select and design their preferred plan. They can find farmers by diet and cost. It is especially useful to program managers. Daily recommended consumption of specific nutrients as conditioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) is illustrated on gingerbread-children graphics for basic educational purposes.

The planner is also available by other means than internet access. There are 400 community health leaders talking with the public while handing out thousands of health posters and distributing radio-jingles. These teach organizers and families practical hygienic practices to keep children safe and healthy.

According to WHO, 13.4 percent of children less than 5 years of age were underweight in 2011. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gives substantial aid to the cause. The University of Michigan obtained a $3 million grant from the foundation in 2008.

The university long awaited the chance to enhance health and raise the capacity for governmental aptitude in Ghana. Their goal was to improve human resources by focusing on specific enhancement routes such as developing reliable data systems. They also sought to educate health workers.

In 2013, Gates met with PCD and GSFP representatives discussing concrete endeavors administered by HGSF. By meeting with local farmers, teachers and caterers, Gates learned how GSFP also helps the economic development as farmers get access to the market chain. Other prominent issues needing to be addressed aligned with beneficial crop storage services and how farmers and school caterers were communicating.

Since funding the University of Michigan’s global relief plan run by the Center for Global Health (CGH) and participating in groundwork surveillance, Bill and Melinda Gates have coordinated a list of necessities that will ensure a nourished future. To start with, farmers should have better outputs when seed and fertilizer are easily accessible.

They note also that fostering different foods will allow for an assortment of crops and a more diverse selection of sustenance. Embracing new technology, such as mobile phones, will provide quick access to useful farming information. Finally, when crop storage improves, harvests can market conveniently.

Among Bill and Melinda’s outline are also suggestions for modifying food production and delivery. They point out the GSFP as a successful program as caterers design nutritional meals for their school. Farmers can communicate with schools using the planner by knowing when food is needed and what the general outline is for each meal plan and budget. Free nutritional meals are given to 1.7 million children daily thanks to the GSFP.

The outline by Gates goes on to distinguish how other programs under HGSF have succeeded in improving African economy. Zanzibar’s HGSF trained farmers to grow orange fresh sweet potatoes that are rich in Vitamin C. The program in Kenya utilizes mobile phones to increase communication between farmers and schools. Osun State created over 3,000 jobs for caterers and factory workers.

According to Bill and Melinda Gates, if efforts to beat malnutrition continue, by 2030 Africa will be resilient when facing the issue of malnutrition. They predict that a focus on agriculture is the key to witnessing food security in Africa.

– Katie Groe

Sources: Impatient Optimists, Home Grown School Feeding, WHO
Photo: Vox