The Brong Ahafo Regional Programmes Manager of ActionAid Ghana, Madam Christina Amarchey, has said that a child who does not die but suffers from undernourishment up to the age of two will have his or her mental and physical development damaged forever.
She said in Ghana, about 39 per cent of all two-year-olds were moderately or severely stunted as a result of malnutrition.
According to Madam Amarchey, there was therefore the need to make sure that people got food which provided all the nutrients they needed to develop their full potentials and called on the government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to work towards improving the consumption of healthy food and also intensify education on the importance of healthy, balanced diet.
Madam Amarchey said this at the Brong Ahafo regional celebration of this year's World Food Day at Nsawkaw, the capital of the Tain District in the Brong Ahafo Region last Wednesday.
The celebration, which is marked on October 16 every year, was on the theme: " Sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition" and it was organised by the Brong Ahafo Regional Office of ActionAid Ghana and the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture ( MOFA).
The day, which is to raise public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty, was attended by various farmer groups across the region as well as a cross section of the public.
It was also to create the platform for farmers and policy makers to come together to discuss contributions and the challenges of the agricultural sector.
Madam Amarchey also used the opportunity to renew ActionAid 's commitment to leverage various stakeholders and support farmers and their households to tackle the challenges they face in growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consumption and disposal of food and food-related items.
"When this is done in the overall framework of securing their right to food, the Millennium Development Goal One (MDG One) which aims at eradicating poverty and hunger towards building a healthy human resource for national development would be attained", she stated.
Madam Amarchey added it was also important that the voices of smallholder farmers were heard and their challenges addressed to end the vicious cycle of poverty among smallholder farmers in Ghana.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Director of Agriculture, Dr Cyril T Quist, in a keynote address, called for a halt in the sale of large tracts of farmlands for mining and other development purposes aside agriculture.
He added that the practice, if not stopped, would not help Ghana to achieve food security and that it would also exacerbate hunger and poverty in the country.
He said the current practice did not only destroy the ability of the soil to support crop production but also contributed to the destruction of water bodies that were vital for agricultural production.
Source: The Mirror
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