Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition (GTLC), a Non– Governmental Organization (NGO) on Thursday said that investing in nutrition could improve key development outcomes in Ghana.
The NGO noted that food and nutrition security were important,” food security can exist when all people, at all times have physical, economic and social access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food”.
This was said at a meeting organized by GTLC with support from the Netherlands Development Association (SVN) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to share a survey conducted in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.
Mr Ibrahim Azure, Policy Officer of GTLC in a presentation indicated that 78 per cent of children aged six to 59 months were anaemic, while in the Upper East Region anaemia among children less than five years was 89 per cent. Three in 10 women and eight in 10 children under five years of age in Ghana suffer from some forms of under nutrition.
He said insufficient investment by government, the lack of institutional framework and inadequate coordination among different sectors accounted for the nutritional security in the country.
He noted that nutrition cases in the Talensi District among underweight children under five years stood at 17.6 per cent and said the study further looked at community infant and young child feeding (CIYCF), Vitamin A supplement, anaemic prevention and growth, and monitoring and promotion of the use of nutrient giving foods.
He stated that the Voice for Change partnership Project (V4C) was to increase food and nutrition security and incomes of smallholder farmers, especially women, and expressed the hope that the project would achieve this through sustained engagement with government and the private sector to improve service delivery and increase investment in post–harvest management.
According to him, Post Harvest Loss (PHL) constitutes a significant challenge to the agriculture sector improvement in Ghana and its apparent ability to address the food and nutrition security in the country.
He said there was the need for stronger relationship between nutrition and PHL to translate both nutrition policy and post harvest policy into local language and ensure that local communities implement nutrition and PHL.
The Presiding Member for Talensi Assembly, Mr Benedict Yimdol, commended the organization for holding such a meeting and said the information would go a long way to reduce malnutrition in the country, especially malnutrition in children to improve their health status.