Friday, August 05, 2011

Ghana: Model for Agriculture in Africa

In the past decade, the number of hungry people living in Ghana has been cut in half due to the leadership of Former President John Kufour.

Kufour, who was president from 2001 to 2009, recently received the 2011 World Food Prize for creating and implementing governmental policies that specifically addressed hunger and poverty reduction in his country.

Knowing that 60 percent of the population depended on rural agriculture, he decided that agriculture should be a focus of poverty alleviation:

"But in a world as technologically advanced as ours, widespread hunger is not justice. Farmers must be transformed by educating and empowering them....A healthy and happy future for mankind demands such farmers because food is the most basic of needs. It decides not just the health of individuals but also the health of the communities."

With the leadership of Kufour, the Ghanian government educated farmers on best practices, supported irrigation projects, improved seed and crop diversification, built roads and silos to house and transport crops, and offered more affordable equipment.

As a result, export prices increased, bringing in more revenue for the country. In addition, school enrollment grew with the introduction of hot meals to the school day that were made with locally grown food.

With dedicated leaders and the development of policies, Ghana can be seen as an example to other nations. By focusing on agriculture, the well-being of a population can be significantly improved upon.

-Chelsey Dambro