The Northern Regional Minister, Moses Bukari Mabengba has attributed food insecurity situation in the area to the increasing spate of bush burning which seriously affects farmlands and trigger climate change effects.
He said a recent assessment by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) indicated that about 5% of Ghana’s population was food insecure. This covered the population who were constrained in terms of physical availability of food, ease of accessibility to food and how food supply was sustained, the minister added.
Unfortunately according to him, a greater proportion of the population considered to be food insecure was located in Northern Ghana –comprising Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions.
Mr. Moses Mabengba who was addressing a one-day regional conference in Tamale organized by Community Life Improvement Programme (CLIP), a Tamale based NGO, on climate change, described the phenomenon as unacceptable.
The conference which was on the theme: “Bushfires, climate change and food security in Northern Ghana”, was intended to examine various human-induced agricultural activities, their impact on climate change and strategies for adoption of climate change coping mechanisms.
Participants were drawn from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, research and academic institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations, Farmer-Based Organisations, the media and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
According to the Northern Regional Minister, notwithstanding the efforts of government to curtail the effects of climate change, bush burning, and ensure food security in the country, the onus lies on the citizenry to protect the environment to ensure their sustainable livelihoods.
Mr. Moses Mabengba commended CLIP through its Food for Life (F4L) project to organize such an important conference to address these challenging concerns affecting the resource-poor farmers in Northern Ghana.
Abubakari Mutari, F4L Focal Person at CLIP in a power-point presentation explained that, the F4L initiative was to provide food insecure farmer households with opportunities to improve their household food security situation through climate change adaptation strategies.
He noted that, the short-term objective of F4L was to improve linkages between research and farm household practices in vulnerable communities through dissemination and adoption of climate resilient technologies.
Mr. Mutari stated that, the goal of the programme is that 60% of farmers in 30 communities in the Northern Region would learn to apply localized and preventive strategies in addressing climate change.
CLIP as an organization is doing this through awareness creation/animation of climate change and its effects, building a knowledge/resource pool to serve as reference point for Food Security and Climate Change resilience technologies, testing and promoting innovations, building concerted efforts to tackle Food Security and Climate Change issues and among others, he stressed.