Undernutrion In Ghana
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Ghana is a young developing country and has an undernourishment problem that needs to be corrected in order to further develop. In 2003 12% of the people suffered from under nutrition, this is significantly down from in 1990 when it was at 37% (SOFI). From 1996-2005 30% of children under age 5 suffered from moderate to severe stunting (UNICEF). Although there has been a reduction in the amount of undernourished people in the country more food production is urgently needed. Micronutrients are a problem that is being addressed. 95% of children in Ghana receive vitamin A supplementation but only 28% of households use iodized salt in their cooking (UNICEF). Ghana needs to address these problems immediately because they are increasing in population at an above average rate. GhanaÐ²Ð‚™s population was around 20 million in the year 2000 and is projected to double to 40 million by 2050 (Census). With this increase in the amount of people in its country Ghana needs to find a way to increase their food production.
Agricultural land in Ghana comprises 62.9% of the total land and that can sustain the growth of many crops (Gateway). This may seem like a lot of land, but the problem is with the irrigation system that Ghana has. Out of a possible of 346,000 hectares only 10,000 have been irrigated by the farmers (Gateway). The lack of irrigation in land severely inhibits the production from the crops planted. The government of Ghana has recognized this problem and has instituted policies and strategies for water management (Gateway). With the addition of these irrigation strategies the future production in agriculture for Ghana looks promising. With the increase in agricultural output the quality of life will improve because throughout Ghana agriculture accounts for approximately 45% of the economy (Gateway). With an increase in agriculture, the level of undernourishment will continue to decline providing a bright future for Ghana.
Ghana has a GINI index of 40.8, which means that there is a significant amount of disparity in incomes between the rich and the poor (Human). The annual growth rate of GDP per capita has increased from .6% in 1994 to 1.6% in 2004 (Human). The highest the GDP per capita has been in the entire history of Ghana was in the year 2004 (Human). This is very promising for Ghana because it shows that the economy is increasing vastly and that the country is making an effort to solve their food problem and to help the poor. Although their disparity between the rich and poor is presently large, by increasing the production in crops farmers will be able to increase their income and bridge the gap.
In 2000 the average number of calories consumed by a person in Ghana was 2577.80 which were slightly higher than the required calorie intake of 2404 (FAO). Although it more that the required amount, it hasnÐ²Ð‚™t increased that much because in 1970 it was 2339.04 (FAOSTAT).