CORONA VERSES FOOD SECURITY, THE FUTURE CASE OF GHANA - Newsfile Online

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Wednesday, 29 April 2020

CORONA VERSES FOOD SECURITY, THE FUTURE CASE OF GHANA


By: Louisa Kpornyo


Graceful greetings to Ghana. I have heard of the word globalization some few years ago and many policy documents as well as cross country international treaties are known to the aderge that the *world* is a *global* *village* . Globalization may be understood as a continuous process of interaction among humans, organizations, states and agencies worldwide whereby capitalism is expanded by the aid of *transportation* and sophisticated technologies  of *communication* with the aim of bringing modernity to the doorsteps of everyone. Thus, Globalization in simple terms states that whatever happens anywhere may have direct or indirect impact on other things no matter how far apart they are from each other. Indeed, globalization preaches the common sharing of goods, services, capital and technological resources as well as total removal of cross-boader trade barriers. This made *Martin* *Albrow*( a British sociologist born in 1937) to define globalization as -----" *those* *processes* *by* *which* *the* *people* *of* *the* *world* *are* *incorporated* *into* *a* *single* *world* *society* "----This sounds good, isn't it? but it also means sharing of common pandemic diseases.

I never understood the full meaning of globalization until the recent advent of COVID-19. In December 2019, an outbreak of a contagious disease occured in Wuhan,  China. It was not a major news item. It did not create fear, panic, shutdowns and restrictions on the movement of humans, goods and services. Christmas, yes! Christmas was very much celebrated as usual. The crossover prayers of 31st night were breaking the ceilings of any Church. Everyone was eager to usher in 2020 as a new year of hope, peace, joy and no tears.

In a sudden turn of events, the paradox of nature and the powerful weaknesses of humans are now a reality.
A virus with the name *Corona* has become a hot line news in  all local, national and international media houses. BBC, CNN, Aljarzera, multi-media, media General etc cannot think of any gate keeping story apart Corana Virus. Any *agenda* *setting* theory in these trying moments will only be useless if COVID-19 is not mentioned. Through a globalized communication and transport of good and services, Ghana has began experiencing her full share of the *tears* *of* *the* *West* .

Just in three (3) months into this pleasant year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Just in three months, Wuhan in China is no more far from Ghana. A direct flight from Ghana to Wuhan will take 15 hours 25 minutes but now we do not need a flight of so many hours to experience the ghost city of Wuhan. Just in two weeks, the globalized movement of people, goods and services has brought Wuhan very close to our noses.

I paid close attention to the president of the Republic of Ghana on the 15th of March, 2020 where a deliberate executive decision was announced. Churches, festivals, funerals etc were asked to shutdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In less than a week, the positive cases in Ghans have increased to over 19 with one death.
On the 21st of March, 2020, the president has moved one step further, closure of all boaders of Ghana for human traffic except for goods. I started shivering and quevering listening to my predident. I humbly thought of the future of Ghana's *food* *security* . I can feel the heat of a gloomy dark future. What of if all sovereign neighbouring states decide to close their boaders too without movement of good....especially food.? Can our country rely on domestic home grown food to survive just six(6) months?

The presidend said among many things that the decision to close our boarders is to make us self reliant. Currently, apart from maize, rice is one of best stable grain food in ghana but rice is imported in large quantities from China, Pakistan, Korea, lndia, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and the US because Ghana's domestic rice cannot suffice for our consumption. Egg is very much consumed in Ghana yet our poultry farms cannot feed us. In recent times, Ghana imports large quantities of day-old chicks and hatching eggs from the European union and Brazil. We hardly here of large production of wheat but we here of huge importation of wheat into the country with about 40 percent from USA. Pork consumption in Ghana is high but looking at the pork money data base, pork is highly imported into this country. Just name any food stuff, tomatoes, kotomre, yam, soghum, beans, pepper, millet, sugar sugarcane groundnut etc....a large quantity is imported to argument the domestic suply. With the whistle of COVID19, our boarders are closed. Can Mother Ghana feed her children just for 6 months without importation? Hmmm. Your guest is as good as mine.

Ghana imports from Nigeria salt, lime, dairy products of egg, honey etc. Ghana imports orange, tomato, plantain, gsrlic, okro ginger and cabbage from Togo. Same applies to Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

With closure of our boarders and in case other boader countries do same, we will soon be in food hoarding crises as was in the 1980s. No wonder, a bowl of Gari was sold at *Afife* market at GHC 9.00. No wonder,  just at the mentioning of a one day market closures in Greater Accra Region for fumigation, food prices have increased and people are buying in order to store. But for how long?

The future truth is this. COVID-19 is a mother of all Viruses to attack the very fibre of each globalized economy in recent times. The virus may infest many Ghanaians, some may survive and others may passed on. COVID-19 may not infest some Ghanaians but it will force the government into taking decisions that will kill many people faster. Imagine dying of hunger without COVID-19. This are not ordinary times indeed. Let us use the little food we have judiciouly. Avoid waste of food and glutony.....it's among the seven deadly sins.
Above all, lets pray that we survive together. Together we shall overcome

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