Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 72615
Northern Ghana’s Sustainable Food Systems: Evaluating the Impact of International Development

Authors: Maxwell Ladogo Abilla


As evidence from the 2007–2008 and 2010 global food and financial crises revealed that food systems were under stress, the idea of sustainable food systems rose to prominence in the discussion of food security. The idea suggests moving away from a conception of food security that emphasizes production in favor of one that is more socially and environmentally conscious and interested in tackling a wide range of issues that have rendered the food system dysfunctional. This study evaluates the efforts made by international development organizations to increase food security in the area, taking into account the persistence of poverty and food insecurity in northern Ghana, utilizing the idea of sustainable food systems as the evaluation criterion. The study used triangulation to address the research questions by combining qualitative interview data with documentary analysis. To better comprehend the concept of sustainability, a variety of discourses and concepts are used, which results in the development of eight doable objectives for attaining sustainable food systems. The study finds that the food system in northern Ghana is unsustainable because of three kinds of barriers, with the practical objectives of developing sustainable food systems serving as the assessment criteria (natural, cultural and economic, and institutional). According to an evaluation of the World Food Programme's development support in northern Ghana, regional challenges to attaining sustainable food systems continue to be unaddressed by global development initiatives. Due to institutional constraints, WFP's interventions fell short of their promise. By demonstrating the need for development partners to enhance institutional efficiency and coordination, enable marginalized communities to access their rights, and prioritize agricultural irrigation in the area, the study makes a contribution to development policy and practice in northern Ghana.

Keywords: sustainable, food security, development, institutional

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