Business News of 2014-01-04

Western Region likely to face food insecurity

Citi News can confirm that the Western Region could experience food insecurity in the coming years due to a decline in the production of basic food crops.

According to a Human Development report on the Western Region and published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), seven districts namely, Wassa Amenfi East, West and Central, Juabeso, Aowin Suaman, Sehwi Akontobra and Sehwi Yooso have seen a decline in the production of food crops such as maize, plantain, yam, cassava etc.

According to the report, the problem has to do with galamsey activities and the deteriorating road network linking them to the urban centres like the Sekondi Takoradi metropolis.

Citi News however confirmed the findings in the report after consultations with the various District Agric Directors.

The Head of Food at the Wassa Amenfi West District, Mr. Elvis Duvor in an interview with Citi News revealed that farmers in the area are mostly above the age of 50 whereas the young men in the area are engaged in galamsey which according to him “brings quick money into their pockets.”

He added that because the young men see agriculture as an unattractive venture, it has resulted in a sharp price for labour in the area of resources, both human and capital.

Meanwhile, the Ahanta West Director of Agriculture, Mr. Acheampong also stated that although they were “producing cassava to a tune of 36,000 metric tons, plantain 6.5 metric tons and maize at about 15,000 metric tons, but the problem is that there has been a huge decrease in the production of these food crops because of the intensified investments by oil related businesses like the Plant Pool and Estate developments, as well as galamsey activities.”

He stressed that if activities of galamsey operators are not checked, it would continue to hamper the progress of food security in the country.

Source: citifmonline.com
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