sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty Supported by the CGIAR G hana ’ s T ransformaTion John Agyekum Kufuor InternatIonal Food PolIcy research InstItute The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI®) was established in 1975. IFPRI is one of 15 agricultural research centers that receives its principal funding from governments, private foundations, and international and regional organizations, most of which are members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Cover illustration adapted from photography by © Karen Robinson/Panos Pictures Design and layout: Joan K. Stephens (USA) Photo credits: Page 3 © Karen Robinson/Panos Pictures, page 4 © Aubrey Wade/Panos Pictures, page 8 © Carole Douglis/IFPRI Ghana’s TransformaTion John Agyekum Kufuor John Kufuor served two terms as president of the Republic of Ghana from 2001–08. During his presidency, he served as chairperson of the African Union (2007–08) and chairman of the Economic Community of West African States for two terms (2003–05). Earlier in his career, he was twice elected member of Parliament (1969–72 and 1979–81). He served as a deputy minister of foreign affairs, representing Ghana’s delegation to the United Nations (UN); secretary for local government; and chief legal officer and city manager of Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana. He is currently a Global Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN World Food Programme; chairman of the UN Interpeace Program; member of Club de Madrid; director of the Brenthurst Foundation of South Africa; and director of the Sullivan Foundation. He received his BA and MA from Oxford University and was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn, London. In 2011, he received an award from Chatham House, UK, for his exemplary leadership qualities. 1 M ore than one billion people fairer and stable world will not count for throughout the world, the much. highest number in the past four decades, will go hungry this year. When I became Ghana’s president in More than a million of them live in my 2000, my country needed solutions for home country of Ghana. And hundreds of hunger, malnutrition, and a host of other millions more across the globe suffer from problems. Long years of military rule had “hidden hunger”: they have food on the sapped the principles of good governance, table, but that food—all that is available to accountability, and transparency from them—lacks many of the nutrients essential Ghana. Respect for human rights was at to health. its lowest level, the rule of law was abused with impunity, and the people had little This failure to provide sufficient and faith in the justice system. Like many other nutritious food has a devastating impact African countries, Ghana’s economy had on health and development that starts in stagnated for decades and its population the earliest days of life. The physical and had fallen further into poverty, even as the mental development of unborn children is Western world and countries in the Far badly damaged, often irreversibly, if their East developed robust economies built on mothers cannot eat properly. Malnutrition new, innovative technologies. stunts our children’s growth, increases their vulnerability to disease, and reduces their Agriculture had been the mainstay of capacity to learn at school. Of course, all the Ghanaian economy for more than this feeds into the wider economy, with 100 years, producing a variety of crops, poorer productivity and performance. The from cocoa and oil palm to staples like challenges we face today are not tubers, cereals, and fruits. Cultivation just about survival or fairness practices remained traditional and but are at the heart of hopes subsistent in nature. About 60 percent for long-term social and of Ghana’s population directly depends economic development. on rural agriculture. Yet those who work Malnutrition Without solutions, and to provide food through farming are the stunts our the commitment from most food-insecure people in the country. children’s political leaders My administration aimed to ensure a growth, increases to put them more efficient and productive agricultural their vulnerability into action, our base that would become the engine of ambitions for a the economy by providing food security, to disease, and reduces their capacity to learn at school. 2 ushering in industrialization, creating jobs, around the world had largely bypassed and increasing export revenues. The critical Africa. The average farmer did not share in need was—and is—for an agricultural the advances in irrigation or improved crop transformation. varieties revolutionizing yields elsewhere. Our agriculture was overwhelmingly still rainfed. Extreme weather across Africa TransforminG was becoming more regular and rains were becoming more unpredictable. aGriculTure If the rains failed, our crops failed. And even if the I have seen in Ghana and throughout Africa rains came at the the scale of the challenge we face and time and intensity also how governments can use science and expected, pests technology to overcome it. More than any and diseases continent, Africa needs solutions for its could still myriad challenges in agriculture, nutrition, destroy and health. Africa alone, of all the world’s our continents, does not grow enough food to feed itself. This is not because of lack of will or shortage of land. In fact, around 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land is in Africa. Rather, the devastating food deficit on the continent stems largely from a lack of knowledge, resources, and opportunity. In 2000, agriculture, as it was practiced in Ghana, looked much the same as it had for decades and even centuries before. It was back-breaking, with little joy or reasonable reward to attract educated youth. The revolution that transformed agriculture crops because farmers rarely used The failure of agriculture forced Ghana to pesticides and fertilizers. There was hardly import food from outside our continent, any diversification, which, together with stripping the country of resources outdated farming practices, reduced the needed for development. But too often fertility and quality of the soil. It forced this imported food itself was of dubious families to move on, slashing and burning, nutritional quality. Europe and Asia dumped causing severe and lasting damage to inferior chicken parts and poor-quality rice our environment. The educated in Africa, forcing down the prices of our youth, therefore, escaped and home-grown crops. But the evidence shows drifted from rural areas that if our farmers gain the knowledge and into towns in search of resources their counterparts in other parts nonexistent jobs. of the world take for granted, they can quickly increase yields. I have seen this in Ghana with important cash crops like cocoa and in food production. As part of my administration’s rural redevelopment plan, reactivated agricultural extension services paid special attention to educating cocoa farmers on best practices. Ghana is the second largest exporter of cocoa in the world, but it was always clear that, with the right government support and the spread of best practices, yields could be increased. My administration adapted the latest knowledge from universities, research institutes, experts, and farmers across the world. Farmers’ access to affordable credit underpinned our policy. The government sprayed cocoa farms with pesticides free of charge and provided fertilizers where needed. aquaculture along the Volta Lake. The Importantly, the government gave farmers outcome was that, despite the problems a major incentive to expand production by the nation faced, especially through 2006, increasing their share of the international 2007, and 2008, food is now more plentiful export price from 40 percent in 2002 to in Ghana. about 70 percent in 2004. The result was dramatic. Between 2002 and 2005, cocoa production in Ghana doubled—from 350,000 tons to 734,000 tons, an all-time record in TransforminG more than a century of cocoa farming in the country. The government successfully ciTizens used many of the same techniques to For a country like Ghana, where more than improve production for food crops such half its people farm the land, transforming as maize, yams, and plantains, as well as agriculture helps to transform everyone. livestock and fish. My administration also The farmers’ progress did not just result strengthened the Grains and Legumes in increased exports; the government Development Board to supply quality seeds launched an ambitious program to give and planting materials to farmers as a many kindergarten and primary school pupils strategy to improve the quantity and quality a daily hot and nutritious meal made from of Ghana’s agriculture produce. locally produced food, which resulted in a monumental increase in school enrollment. While increasing crop yields is vital, it The policy provided proper nourishment for is of little use if the product cannot be the children and also support for the farmers. stored safely or transported to markets. Therefore, along with supporting irrigation, The expectation of nutritious meals improved seeds, and crop diversification, kept children in school, which the government pursued an integrated has many advantages. One rural development policy, building feeder such advantage is reducing roads, silos, and cold stores for horticultural teenage pregnancy: the Food crops (such as pineapples, mangoes, longer a girl stays and bananas). The government also in school, the less decides made mechanization, like tractors, more likely she is to get not just the affordable for farmers through favorable loan terms. Landing sites were developed pregnant. Educated girls who become health of for sea fisheries on the beach and for mothers later individuals but also the health of communities. 5 in life are better able to care for their politically stable countries on the continent children. Currently, more girls than boys are and has made some of the greatest enrolling in schools in many parts of the progress in reducing hunger, poverty, and country. Our comprehensive educational malnutrition. In recognition of this progress reform policy also upgraded all the teacher and based on a compact developed to training colleges to emphasize the teaching modernize agriculture and attract and of mathematics, science, and technology, retain the youth in the sector, the US and stressed vocational training and government awarded a grant of $547 apprenticeship at the secondary levels. million to Ghana under the Millennium Challenge Account. The development To build on our education policies, huge priorities set by my administration aligned investments were made in the health with many of the UN’s Millennium sector and the national health insurance Development Goals. One goal for both scheme, which included free maternity the government and the UN was that the care. Nearly 56 percent of the population nation attain middle-income status by was insured within the first three years, on 2015. By 2007, multilateral organizations an affordable premium of around US$10 determined Ghana had reached middle- annually. The government invested in these income status, with a per capita GDP policies because we knew that a healthy, of more than US$1,300. This happened well-educated population would make our eight years in advance of the target, country stronger. and even before the crude oil find in the same year. In fact, even in the teeth of the international financial and economic TransforminG crisis, Ghana’s GDP grew 8.4 percent in 2007–08, reaching its highest level in the The counTry country’s history. The latest Global Hunger Index (GHI), which measures children’s During the past decade, the undernourishment, underweight, and many new agricultural, mortality in developing countries, showed Ghana social, and economic that Ghana had one of the 10 greatest is now policies have shifted percentage reductions in GHI scores since Ghana’s position in 1990 (see Figure 1). considered Africa. It is now one of the considered one None of these advances, or the reforms of the more more politically that precipitated them, would have been stable countries on the continent. 6 Figure 1—GHI winners and losers from 1990 GHI to 2010 GHI Winners (Percentage decrease in GHI) Losers (Percentage increase in GHI) Peru -54 Congo, Dem. Rep. +66 Saudi Arabia -55 Comoros +21 Iran, Islamic Rep. -56 Burundi +20 Ghana -57 North Korea +20 Nicaragua -58 Swaziland +14 Tunisia -58 Zimbabwe +12 Mexico -62 Guinea-Bissau +8 Turkey -62 Liberia +6 Malaysia -63 Gambia, The +6 Kuwait -73 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 Source: K. von Grebmer, M. T. Ruel, P. Menon, B. Nestorova, T. Olo nbiyi, H. Fritschel, Y. Yohannes, 2010 Global Hunger Index, The Challenge of Hunger: Focus on the Crisis of Child Undernutrition (Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute, 2010). Note: Countries with both 1990 GHI less than ve and 2010 GHI less than ve are excluded. as successful if the Ghanaian people due process, people felt free to express did not have true democratic freedom. themselves without having to look over their The government took the furthering of shoulders. My administration gave a great democracy very seriously. One of the first deal of attention to furthering freedom things my administration did was to repeal of expression, freedom of association, the criminal libel law, which successive and freedom of belief, allowing people to governments since colonial times had used practice the religion of their choice. to muzzle the media. We opened up the licensing of media houses. The number of As Ghana’s position in Africa improved, FM radio stations mushroomed around my administration worked to help our the country; there must be around 200 neighbors promote democratic values as in the country now. Ghana deserves—and well. We needed to pursue policies that now has—an accountable government relaxed tensions. Along the way we became that respects the country’s constitution, aware that most of the countries looked including free speech and due process of up to Ghana. We felt self-conscious to law. Because the government insisted on get it right. Some countries experienced 7 unrest: Cote D’Ivoire, Togo, Liberia, and Because we are dedicated to democratic Sierra Leone. Ghana played a lead role principles, we are also dedicated to in resolution of problems in all these fairness and to justice. But in a world countries. We talked not only about as technologically advanced as ours, peace but also about legality and widespread hunger is not justice. Farmers constitutionality. Preaching this elsewhere, must be transformed by educating and we couldn’t practice differently at empowering them to maximize quality home. Feeling accountable to food outputs using science and technology. those around us contributed A healthy and happy future for mankind to the practice of good demands such farmers because food is the governance over the most basic of needs. It decides not just the last decade. health of individuals but also the health of communities. Yet, shortages of nutritious food condemn millions of our fellow human beings to far shorter lives than those in more food-secure countries. In the twenty- first century, this is a scandal that must shame all of us. The forces of globalization, if they are to be seen throughout the world as benign, must be harnessed to tackle this most basic of inequalities. sustainable solutions for ending hunger and p Supported by the CGIAR InternatIonal Food PolIcy research InstItute www.ifpri.org IFPRI Headquarters 2033 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20006-1002 USA Tel.: +1-202-862-5600 Fax: +1-202-467-4439 Email email@example.com IFPRI Addis Ababa P. O. 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