Accra, Aug 29, GNA - The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, an initiative to lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years through sustained agricultural growth, was on Wednesday launched in Accra.
Initiated by the G-8 nations, African countries and the Private sector, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is a response to many African Countries strong commitment to the promotion and protection of food security and nutrition articulated in multiple settings since 2003.
Nii Amansa Namoale, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, on behalf of the Minister, Mr Kwasi Awhoi, launched the project and said the initiative had been designed to accelerate the implementation of programmes started by African countries themselves to urgently address the twin problems of food security and nutrition in Africa.
He said the issue of food security and nutrition involve many dimensions including food availability, affordability, nutritional quality and safety, access to and cost of finance to farmers, public expenditure in agriculture, research and development, and private sector investment in agriculture.
Nii Namoale said: "The initiative is seen by government as an opportunity to enhance the focus and level of investment and accelerate the implementation of Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan".
He said for decades, the G-8 and other developed countries had engaged with African partners to address the challenges and opportunities in Africa for sustainable growth and development.
He said, however, that it had been recognized that international assistance alone could not fulfill the objectives which were even more pressing now as Africa’s role was expanding in the global economy.
Nii Namoale said under the initiative, agriculture related agencies in Ghana needed to marshal efforts and resources in partnership to accelerate modernization and achieve sustainable food security outcomes, reduce poverty and end hunger.
He said engagement of decentralized levels for their roles and contributions to the growth and development of the agriculture sector and rural livelihoods was crucial to the success of the programme.
Mr Donald Teitelbaum, outing United States Ambassador to Ghana, said the G-8 and African leaders had been working on the initiative to ensure comprehensive agriculture development on the African continent.
He said G-8 members were supporting the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme with a pledge of $1.2 billion over three years in existing and new donors for the public and private sector windows.
He said the G-8 and African partners have designed country cooperation framework in Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania.
Mr Teitelbaum said some multinational and nine private sector companies in Ghana had signed letters of intent to support Ghana’s agriculture sector.
He said late President Atta Mills was one of the few African leaders who were invited to attend a meeting in Camp David concerning the initiative.
He said late President Mills recognized that heavy investment in agriculture would go a long way to boost food production and ensure nutrition for the people.