In Ghana, small scale farmers are national assets. They form the bulk of the workforce in the agricultural sector, which is totally dependent on water availability and are the ones feeding the nation.
But the sector is no longer as productive as it used to be – shrinking land for farming due to increasing population, evolving competitive land uses, soil degradation, water scarcity, desertification and climate change impacts.
Farming methods and practices are still at best rudimentary. These among other factors have rendered the once productive sector unattractive particularly for the youth.
Thus, the tradition of generational farming in farming communities is gradually dying out and threatening the country’s food security. This attests to the fact that the country’s agri-food systems are not sustainable nowadays. But sustainable food systems are crucial in providing a healthy and productive future for young people in Ghana and the Africa continent as well as around the world.
The situation calls for radical transformation. And according to the CGIAR Consortium, “analysis of food system challenges shows that radical transformation is urgently needed. Such transformation requires accelerated innovation and that, in turn, requires increased investment in agri-food research to power the engine that drives innovation.” That is, innovation specifically targeting agri-food systems.