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Ghana: Food insecurity at its peak in northern region

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Ponded water in Guinean Savanna bush area in wet season northern Ghana Africa

The population in Ghana faces massive food insecurity with the five northern regions having the highest percentage. These statistics were given by the 2020 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA), implemented by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), with financial and technical assistance by World Food Programme and Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations.

These five regions comprises of Upper East (48.7%); North East (33%); Northern (30.7%); Upper West (22.8%); and Savannah (22.6%).

This food insecurity affects regions that are prone to adverse weather conditions such as drought and floods. These regions are disproportionately affected by food prices during their lean season and bumper season.

The districts in the country facing the highest rates of food insecurity, among others are Kassena Nankana West (78.8%), Karaga (75.9%), Builsa South (74.5%), Tatale (68.4%), Bolgatanga East (66.3%), Kumbungu (61.2%), Jirapa (61.0%), Chereponi (60.3%), Tempane (59.2%) and Bongo (57.3%). All these districts are in the aforementioned regions.

Food insecurity also affects small areas in southern Ghana. For instance, 71.4% of the population in Tarkwa-Nsuaem district in the Western Region are food insecure. Food insecurity is also prevalent in Ada West (35.9%) in the Greater Accra Region, Sekyere Afram Plains (34%) in the Ashanti Region, Ayensuano (31.7%) in the Eastern Region, and Asunafo South (31.4%) in the Ahafo Region.

There are also striking regional differences in terms of absolute numbers. For instance, Ashanti Region had 6.2% of its population being food insecure which translates into 369,096 people having limited access to sufficient and nutritious food for active and healthy life.

This turns out to be the third region with the highest number of people who are food insecure, following Northern (598,706) and Upper East (634,293) regions. Eastern Region also had 261,526 of its population being food insecure.

The CFSVA also revealed that households that depend mainly on agriculture as their source of household income, unskilled labour, household heads who are less educated and remittances dependent households are more likely to be food insecure.

Due to the fact that the world is increasingly becoming food insecure, it will be difficult to attain food security. Therefore, food security status must be monitored and evaluated among the population.

In Ghana, Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) has been conducted twice nationwide and one that targeted Northern Ghana to measure level of food insecurity among the population in 2012.

The study among others aimed to determine the prevalence of food insecurity in Ghana; determine how many people are food insecure; assess the trends over the waves; determine why they are food insecure to assess the dietary need of the population; help end hunger and ensure that people live healthily; address undernourishment among mothers and children and reduce child mortality and possibly, increase life expectancy.

 

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