Food is one of the basic necessities needed for the continuity of mankind thus, it is vital to make it a basic right of every human being. In this respect, global efforts are being made to make people understand the essence of consuming healthy and nutritious food. World Food Day is an international day observed every year on October 16. It is also widely celebrated by many other organisations such as the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, which focus on food security. The day was instituted by the member countries of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) at the 20th General Conference in November 1979, with the aim to raise awareness about the issues behind poverty and hunger. The theme for this year’s commemoration is “grow, nourish, sustain, together, our actions are our future” and it highlights the need for a collective action to ensure that people are have access to affordable and nutritious food. For 2020, the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic foregrounds the importance of maintaining our health; an effective way to do this is for one to have a healthy and balanced diet. As this day is being commemorated, it is important to acknowledge the significant role food and agriculture play in the response to COVID-19.
In Ghana, significant strides have been made to improve agricultural productivity, nevertheless, the sector is still plagued with issues like hunger, malnutrition, loss of agro-biological diversity, inadequate security for food chain workers and environmental degradation, resulting in the lack of food security. The lack of food security means a high level of poverty and a surge in malnutrition (especially among children). Many underage children suffer the effects of malnutrition; the effects could be the inability for them to reach their full physical and intellectual potential. Therefore, making nutritious food available to every Tom, Dick and Harry is imperative.
As Ghana continues to develop strategies to recover from COVID-19, the government, agricultural institutions and the private sector are encouraged to adopt innovative solutions and sustainable agro-input system to help build back better and improved food systems that can withstand climate changes, provide healthy diets and better livelihoods for individuals and communities.