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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2362

Title: Food security, governance and poverty reduction: a case study of the Bongo District in Ghana
Authors: Binyason, Evans Lou Lopita
Issue Date: 14-Dec-2001
Series/Report no.: 2877;
Abstract: Food security is defined in its most basic form as access by all people at all times to the food needed for a healthy life. Achieving food security has three dimensions. First, it is necessary to ensure a safe and nutritionally adequate food supply both at the national level and at the household level. Second, it is necessary to have a reasonable degree of stability in the supply of food both from one year to the other and during the year. Third, and most critical, is the need to ensure that each household has physical, social and economic access to enough food to meet its needs. This means that each household must have the knowledge and the ability to produce or procure the food that it needs on a sustainable basis. International attention to the concept of food security can be traced back to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, which recognized the right to food as a core element of an adequate standard of living. The fact is that for decades, the world has grown enough food to feed everybody. Even the developing countries produced enough food for their population. In every region, food outputs managed to keep ahead of population growth. However, the adequacy of food at national level does not rule out hunger at local level. Ghana is not exceptional to the global food security scenario. In spite of Ghana’s outstripping food production, there is recurrent chronic food insecurity in some parts in the northern regions and particularly in the Bongo district, in the Upper East Region. The main purpose of this study was to study food security situation in the Bongo district and the process of formulating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating food security policies and programmes in addressing overall food insecurity in the country and particularly in the Bongo district. The survey was conducted at two levels. At the national level with the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), and sector Ministries and at the district level the survey was conducted with government institutions, NGOs and the community. Bongo district has in total, 13 settlements. Out of the 13 settlements, sample of five settlements were selected through “area and block” sampling technique. From each of the five selected settlements, a sample size of 3 percent was selected through purposive and random sampling. Group discussions were also conducted with traditional leaders, Unit Committees and Development Committees formed by NGOs in the five selected settlements. The indicator used for measuring food insecurity, and for that matter Poverty is the “kilocalorie” intake by individual. A Ghanaian minimum level of calorific intake of 2,300 per/day/adult was used as the poverty line for measuring poverty in the Bongo District. Indicators for measuring governance included participation, co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation. The study revealed that the major causes of food insecurity in the Bongo district include both natural and manmade factors, to mention but a few; such as erratic rainfalls, governance factors like lack of direct food security policies, participation, co-ordination, monitoring, evaluation and lack of provision of physical agricultural inputs like credit, subsidies and agricultural tools and technologies for enhancing agricultural production. The inability to address the causes of food insecurity has resulted in about 90 percent of the total population sustaining food deficits of about 3 to 4 months in year 2000. Only about 10 percent of the district’s total population managed slightly to live above the minimum daily calorie intake of 2, 300per/day/adult. In spite of the agricultural policies that are geared towards improving food production, the government has no direct food security policies, for addressing the three elements of food security. Though several poverty reduction programmes in the Bongo district are appropriate in addressing some aspects of food security, the fact that there are no indicators for measuring food insecurity and for that matter poverty, make it difficult for the government to know level of the overall food insecurity and poverty in the Bongo district. Lack of co-ordination and co-operation in some isolated cases between the NDPC and some sector Ministries was noted, especially in areas of information sharing. Community participation in development planning process in the district has yet to be given attention. The way forward towards enhancing food security in the district is to focus food security as an objective of national policy. Improved food security stems directly from a set of government policies that integrates the food economy into a development strategy that seeks rapid economic growth within income distribution. Policy makers have the opportunity to create the aggregate conditions in which households at the micro level can gain access to food on a reliable basis. The study concluded that there is the urgent need to improve food security not only in the study area per se, but also in the other food insecure communities in the nation and especially in the northern regions.
Description: A thesis submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 2001
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2362
Appears in Collections:College of Architecture and Planning

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