Kufuor calls for integration of health and agric policies

Former President J.A. Kufuor of Ghana
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has condemned the loss of millions of lives, especially in developing countries, because of the lack of nutritious and sufficient food. “In the 21st century, this is a scandal which must shame all of us. There is no basic need than the food we eat. Yet it is because of nutritious food that millions of our fellow human beings have shorter lives than those in more food-secure countries,” he said.

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A statement signed by the former President’s Spokesman, Mr Frank Agyekum, said he was addressing the opening of the Vision 2020 global conference of the International Food Policy Research on 93 Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health,” in New Delhi.

Former President Kufuor and Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, co-chaired the first day of the three-day conference being attended by about 1,000 delegates including Ministers of state, policy makers, research fellows, academicians, and non-governmental organizations from 65 countries. Former President Kufour called for a correlation between policies on health and agriculture to help reverse the debilitating effect of malnutrition which led to 93stunted growth of children, increases their vulnerability to diseases and reduce their capacity to learn at school.”

He appealed to governments in developing countries to put the integration of agriculture and health policies at the heart of their planning and make use of research findings on the subject for the benefit of their people. Former President Kufuor said governments should adopt measures that would entice the young and educated into farming to make use of modern agricultural methods. He said special attention must be paid to educating the girl-child to not only avoid teenage pregnancy but to be aware of the benefits of feeding their children with balanced diet, the former President said.