The world loses approximately 1.3 billion tons of food—about one-third of the total produced annually for human consumption and an amount almost equal to the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa—through waste or loss. The issue of food loss is highly important in terms of its impact on hunger and food security, especially in the world’s poorest countries. The exact causes of food losses are varied and depend greatly on the socioeconomic conditions in any given country. Food losses in sub-Saharan Africa are basically influenced by crop production technologies and infrastructure. Until recently, the agricultural sector was the largest contributor to both gross domestic product and employment in Ghana, until it was overtaken by the service sector. The agricultural sector remains the largest employer in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ) of Ghana. This zone encompasses about 54% of Ghana’s entire land mass and is considered to be the country’s bread basket. Even with its agricultural potential, The NSEZ is still considered the poorest part of the country.
The zone is poor in part because very little has been done to tap its potential in terms of agricultural infrastructure investment. The infrastructure deficiencies in the agricultural sector have contributed to food losses from seedbed preparation to final consumption. There are huge losses along the whole value chain, thereby rendering smallholder farmers even poorer and more food insecure. A serious re-evaluation of infrastructure investment, including in roads, warehouses, and improved technologies, is needed to help increase productivity and reduce the amount of food loss in the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority zone. This would help ensure food security in the zone and in Ghana as a whole.
2016 by Agricultural and Forestry Research Center, University of Tsukuba