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Regional News Tue, 22 May 2012

Africa must find solutions to her food security problems - CIKOD

Mr. Bernard Guri, Executive Director, Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD), has stressed the need for Africa to find solutions to her own food security problems.

"We must begin to look for African solutions by way of adopting what we call the endogenous development approach. This means, let's start with what our local farmers know best and have used to feed us all these years," he said.

Speaking at a two-day training workshop to equip local farmers with knowledge and understanding in biosafety systems in Ghana, in Accra on Tuesday, he said “we need to look at the seeds that the local farmers have used all these years, the soil management methods that we have depended on all these years, then we can go to the developed world for resources to scale up what we have developed ourselves.”

Mr. Guri said “this was what Japan and China did and today they are giants on their own rights,” adding that, “'what we Africans should be advocating for is food sovereignty and not food security - for we are the solution to our own food crisis.”

The training workshop, organised by African Biodiversity Network (ABN) in collaboration with CIKOD for selected farming groups from the Northern and Southern Sector of the country, would equip the participants with the effects of Genetically Modified (GM) crops on the health of human beings and animals.

He said the support from the World Bank and the developed countries towards Africa's food security was good, but would that have any meaningful impact on the ordinary people.

The Executive Director said, the trend these days was for African Leaders to go seeking external interventions to solve African problems, but the fact still remained that over the decades of external investment, Africa was still hungry, meaning there was something wrong with that approach, and that should be interrogated

He therefore called on Civil Society Organisations and the Media to make noise on the issue to ensure that the right thing was done to preserve African Traditional seeds and crops.

Nana Afua Gyamfua Kesse II, Queenmother of Wenchi Traditional Area was not happy about the neglect of rural poor farmers in decision making process on issues concerning the agriculture sector on the continent, and advocated for the promotion of traditional seeds and crops to ensure a healthy living style among the people.

She said some of these traditional seeds and crops had medicinal properties that could not be sacrificed for anything and urged ABN to get to the local people and educate them on the effectiveness of local seeds and crops.**

Source: GNA