Ghana’s “Operation Feed Yourself” Plan in 1972: A Lesson for Achieving SDG Goals

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Welcome back to the Agric Journalist blog! Today, we shall look into the history of Ghana’s agricultural policies and focus on a crucial moment in the nation’s quest for self-reliance: “Operation Feed Yourself” (OFY).

In 1972, Ghana embarked on an ambitious journey, “Operation Feed Yourself” (OFY), a transformative policy aimed at achieving food self-sufficiency and breaking free from the shackles of colonial-era dependency. Under the visionary leadership of Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong and his National Redemption Council (NRC), this initiative showcased the nation’s determination to redefine its agricultural landscape and pave the way for a hunger-free future. “Operation Feed Yourself.” The core vision was to empower local farmers, encourage domestic food production, and ultimately achieve food self-sufficiency.

The Call for Self-Sufficiency:

OFY was more than just a program; it was a rallying cry for Ghanaians to take charge of their food production and embrace a spirit of self-reliance. By reducing dependence on food imports and fostering homegrown produce, Ghana sought to establish itself as a self-sustaining nation, breaking free from the shackles of its colonial past.

Support for Local Farmers:

Central to the success of “Operation Feed Yourself” was the support extended to local farmers. The government provided access to land, credit facilities, and improved farming techniques, empowering farmers to increase productivity and cultivate essential staple crops like maize, rice, and cassava. This strategic investment in local agriculture laid the foundation for a resilient and self-sufficient food system.

Investing in Agricultural Infrastructure:

Recognizing the pivotal role of infrastructure in agricultural development, Ghana invested in irrigation projects and modernized farming practices. These efforts aimed to boost crop yields, reduce post-harvest losses, and ensure a stable food supply, thereby strengthening the nation’s food security.

A Roadmap for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

As the world grapples with the urgent challenge of ending hunger by 2030, as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Ghana’s “Operation Feed Yourself” in 1972  serves as a beacon of hope and a blueprint for African nations. The policy’s emphasis on self-reliance, empowering local farmers, and investing in infrastructure aligns perfectly with the SDG’s call for sustainable agriculture and food security.

To achieve the SDG goal of ending hunger, Africa must adopt policies that mirror the spirit and vision of OFY. By prioritizing local food production, supporting smallholder farmers, and investing in modern agricultural practices, African nations can pave the way for a hunger-free continent.

Challenges and Setbacks:

While “Operation Feed Yourself” generated optimism and enthusiasm among Ghanaians, it also faced significant challenges. Inadequate funding and inefficient implementation hindered the program’s full potential. Additionally, adverse weather conditions and natural disasters posed obstacles to achieving consistent crop yields.

The Way Forward: Building on the Legacy of OFY

While “Operation Feed Yourself” encountered challenges and setbacks, its legacy endures as a testament to Ghana’s resilience and determination. Subsequent policies have built upon the lessons learned, fostering sustainable agricultural practices and propelling the nation towards food self-sufficiency.

As we confront the urgent need to end hunger and achieve the SDGs, we must draw inspiration from Ghana’s pioneering efforts with OFY. By empowering local communities, investing in agricultural infrastructure, and embracing a spirit of self-reliance, Africa can chart a course towards a future where no one goes hungry.

Through collective action, unwavering commitment, and the adoption of transformative policies like “Operation Feed Yourself,” Africa can emerge as a global leader in sustainable agriculture, ensuring food security for generations to come.


As we wrap up this journey into Ghana’s history, we appreciate the significance of “Operation Feed Yourself” in shaping the nation’s agricultural landscape. Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong and the NRC’s vision for food self-sufficiency laid the foundation for Ghana’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its agricultural sector. Despite its challenges, the program symbolizes the spirit of resilience and determination in the face of adversity. Join us next time for more captivating insights into the world of agriculture, only on the Agric Journalist blog!

Also read: Kwame Nkrumah’s State Farms: Ghana’s Agricultural Dream

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