Students at the University of Maryland (a section of students shown left in the picture) had a unique opportunity to undertake an informative educational seminar on global food security issues in Africa with a case study on Ghana. The event organized by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR), Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences (NFSC) in partnership with the Edusei Foundation, was hosted by the University of Maryland and moderated by Dr Margaret Udahogora, the Dietetic Program Director of UMD.
In his speech, Dr Kwame Bawuah Edusei noted the efforts of UMD in advancing nutrition, food safety and health by innovative research and high quality education of undergraduate, graduate students and outreach education programs disseminated in African Countries. He mentioned the role of the youth in food security programs, skills development in education and the donation of tons of food by the Edusei Foundation to the urban poor in Ghana to alleviate hunger.
The student gathering learned about the vision of the Feed the Future projects in Africa and Ghana in particular, as well as the details of the Ghana’s Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP 2010-15). Mention was made on the need to increase production of food despite resource constraints. With an objective to increase availability of food, attention was drawn on the need to focus on areas where productivity gap exists and that could see biggest gains, provided markets and infrastructure are developed to get food into the hands of consumers and prevent post harvest loss. The agriculture value chain, relationships between food security, nutrition and agricultural development in Ghana were also discussed. The event showcased an overview of the agriculture potentials, food security industry and opportunities for the urban population and Northern and Upper Regions of Ghana in particular.
The seminar also explored the important role of agriculture in the national development framework and Ghana’s Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II). They paid much attention to the efforts made by USAID Feed the Future and Ghana’s steady growth with record poverty reduction over the past 20 years. The latter, which has been due to an increased Gross domestic product (GDP) mainly due to agricultural growth, the largest source of employment for Ghanaians, dominated by small farm holders.
Present at the event were faculty and students from University of Maryland, delegates from Howard University, National 4-H Youth groups and non-profits with agriculture projects in Ghana. The event is being presented on UMD Campus Adobe Connect system reaching many other departments.
The audience lauded the visionary initiatives of Dr Kwame Bawuah Edusei and University of Maryland for such an opportunity to learn so much at the seminar, its enormous projects and assistance to the people and humanitarian work in Ghana.
The prominent panelists who made the presentations (from right) were, Ambassador Islam Siddique former Obama Administration Chief US Trade Negotiator in Agriculture, Emmy Simmons, former Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, USAID; Dr James Oehmke, Senior Food Security and Nutrition Advisor, USAID, Dr Robert Jackson, Chair of NFSC, Dr Evelyn Copper, Acting Dean AGNR; Dr Margaret Udahogora, Director of DPD programs at the University and Mr. Bosompem, a Consultant Urban and Regional Planner.
In closing, Dr Kwame Edusei thanked the University for the invitation and partnerships with the Edusei Foundation in its work and efforts on food security in Africa.
EDUSEI FOUNDATION (EF)
The mission of the Edusei foundation is to facilitate youth development in the United States, Ghana and the Diaspora in a positive manner to improve their knowledge, behavior and health.
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES MISSION, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND (AGNR)
The mission of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park, is to provide education and conduct research related to agriculture, natural resources, and environmental biology; to provide service to the campus, agricultural professional community
DEPARTMENT OF NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCE (NFSC)
The mission of the NFSC at UMD is to advance nutrition, food safety and health by innovative research, progressive and high quality education of undergraduate and graduate students and creative outreach education disseminated to the citizens of Maryland, the United States and the global marketplace.