History and Background
The Peace Corps has placed Volunteers (PCVs) in Ghana since 1961. For decades, PCVs have been working side by side with their Ghanaian counterparts to ensure that a healthy and lasting food supply is available in Ghana.
Food Security means that all people have access at all times to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to meet dietary needs for an active and healthy life. Peace Corps supports three main areas of the food security throughout Ghana:
- Food Availability
- Food Access
- Food Utilization
Peace Corps Ghana's programs of health, education and agriculture are mutually supportive and strengthen the Food Security chain in Ghana. Currently, PCVs work to ensure food security in all 10 regions of Ghana.
Agriculture Volunteers are on the front lines of food production in Ghana. They are active in getting seeds into the ground; nurturing the plants, trees, and soil; and harvesting the crops. They help design conservation strategies to protect wildlife habitat and help farmers with animal rearing projects. These efforts help ensure that food is available for local consumption and export
Our Agriculture Volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that food is made accessible throughout Ghana. They help process raw materials, store harvested crops, and package and market food and animal products so that the products get to market. They strengthen agribusiness ventures and improve internal and external links between food producers and viable markets. Through income generation activities, agriculture volunteers also help individuals and communities to purchase food and feed families.
Our health, education and agriculture volunteers increase awareness about healthy food consumption. All volunteers conduct outreach activities to ensure that people are aware of basic nutrition concepts. Health Volunteers provide information to communities so that members can make nutritionally-wise choices when feeding their families and so that they handle food and water safely to minimize the spread of water and food-borne illness. Education Volunteers work with youth groups to start school gardens which are used as a teaching tool about food security and nutrition.
In short, PCVs in Ghana contribute significantly to food security in Ghana. Working with Ghanaian partners, PCVs help to increase the quantity, quality and availability of safe nutritious foods.
The following list is a small sample of recent and ongoing PCV projects in Ghana that are directly related to food security:
- Community gardens at a child wellness clinic
- Nutrition/malnutrition classes to orphans, vulnerable children, mothers, and people living with HIV/AIDS
- Community nutrition center
- Animal husbandry facilities
- Community livestock associations
- Chicken and goat projects
- Alternative livestock rearing projects: rabbit, grasscutter, bees, sheep, snail, and duck
- Moringa tree planting, cultivation, and seed distribution
- Food storage facility construction
- Agricultural processing: shea butter, soya paste processing, and groundnut paste
- Rainwater harvesting systems
- Dry season gardening
- Small scale permagardens
- Integrated plant and animal farming systems
- Farming cooperatives
- Tree and plant nurseries
- Mushroom propagation
Whether volunteers are working in the country or in a city; whether they're working on beekeeping or in a school, it's truly a profound experience to become part of another culture." Joe Dodson Current Volunteer in Ghana