Food Security & Nutrition

UNCT-GH-P4P-Smallholder-farmers-rice-(c)-Nyani-Quarmyne-2016Smallholder farmers cleaning locally grown rice (photo by Nyani Quarmyne)


Food Security and Nutrition is treated under “Thematic Area 1” of UNDAF. Actions aim to contribute to improved food security and nutritional status; improved agricultural productivity and competitiveness; and enhanced integration into domestic and international markets.

Millennium Development Goal 1 aimed to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Key actions by the Government in Ghana included the development of national policies to foster economic growth and increase agricultural productivity, along with infrastructural development linking producers to markets and targeted social interventions. The UN system in Ghana has played a critical role in providing technical, policy and financial support for various policies and programmes, including, amongst others, support for national development strategies, such as the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agendas I and II, and the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategies I and II (including tracking of MDGs).

Modernisation of agriculture is central to the economic diversification and expansion of exports needed to achieve and sustain higher economic growth in Ghana.

Two key, related objectives of the agricultural sector strategy are: 1. raising the productivity of staple crops, and increasing and diversifying the production of high-value cash crops (notably horticulture); and, 2. enhancing the competitiveness of Ghanaian agricultural products in regional and international markets, to expand exports and reduce the heavy reliance on cocoa in Ghana’s export base.

A more dynamic agriculture will spur growth beyond the sector itself – agribusiness, supply-chain enterprises, agro-processing.

Key strategies to achieve these objectives include: strengthening rural infrastructure, especially rural roads and irrigation; improving land tenure; enhancing access to credit by strengthening rural finance (rural banks, micro-finance institutions); strengthening research and extension of services, including through increased private participation; facilitating exports by improving product quality and standards; and strengthening coordination between sector and district budgets.

Transitioning to the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 2 (“End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture”) presents additional policy challenges and opportunities, such as: how to better link agricultural development – in particular, inclusive and smallholder-based agricultural development – to improved nutrition; how to link universal access to food to the reduction of rural-urban disparities and the development of the economic potential of rural areas, in a context of rapid urbanisation; and how to increase agricultural productivity sustainably, while maintaining biodiversity and improving resilience and adaptation to climate change.

The policy response will involve confronting the challenge of providing adequate diets in ever more populous cities, while recognising that most of the poor and hungry live in rural areas.

In the area of Food Security & Nutrition, UN Ghana aims to achieve the following results:

Agricultural Modernisation (UNDAF Outcome 1)

  • Enhanced access to agricultural extension services and markets
  • Increased access to agricultural inputs
  • Capacity development for effective extension delivery and adoption of Good Agricultural Practices by agricultural extension agents and small holder farmers
  • Value chain development for selected commodities (maize, soy beans, rice cowpea, fish, cassava, horticultural crops)

Nutrition (UNDAF Outcome 2)

  • Development of the National Nutrition Policy
  • Expanded regional coverage of Food Security and Nutrition Monitoring System
  • Reduced micronutrient deficiencies
  • Increased consumption of locally available nutritious foods by vulnerable groups
  • Improved capacity of service providers to deliver quality nutrition interventions

Renewed Efforts Against Child Hunger and Undernutrition (REACH)

The Renewed Efforts Against Child Hunger and Undernutrition (REACH) initiative was established in 2008 by FAO, UNICEF, WFP and WHO to assist governments of countries with a high burden of child and maternal undernutrition to accelerate the scale-up of food and nutrition actions. In Ghana it was introduced in 2011.