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Comprehensive Database For Farmers Underway

comp_databaseA comprehensive database of farmers, Farmer-based Organizations (FBOs), agricultural producers, traders and processors to provide the basis and mechanism to target policies, interventions and outreach programmes is underway.

Kwesi Ahwoi, the Minister of Food and Agriculture who disclosed this yesterday at the 21st session of the Africa Commission on Agriculture Statistics (AFAS), said the exercise was currently underway and would need additional resources to validate the first generation of data.

“I have given the agric extension officers up to the end of this year to get data on every farmer that they handle across the country. In addition to this, there was the need for coordination of data collection efforts within  countries,” said Mr. Ahwoi.

The agriculture data is expected to help compute the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or growth rate of the country quarterly as being done in advanced economies. The 21st session is being attended by almost all African countries, which are members of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The African Union Commission, African Development Bank, World Bank and other institutions are taking part in the workshop, which would end tomorrow. Touching on the theme of the conference, the Minister noted that the importance of the meeting could not be over stressed, especially when member countries were facing increasing demand for reliable, timely and adequate agricultural information.

This, according to him, would help formulate good policies and programmes to ensure food and raw material security, provide socio-economic information in communities and villages in order to help governments to tackle poverty.

He added that the conventional output and trade data generated need to be expanded to include general agricultural information that would guide the formulation of the sectors development strategies, adding that it would monitor and evaluate outcomes and impact of the global and regional programmes such as the Millennium Development Goals and the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme.

Pietro Gennari, Director of Statistics at FAO, urged member countries to work assiduously to strengthen agricultural statistics to accelerate socio-economic development. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, with 53 percent of women and 61 percent of men engaged in this sector.

According to the Ghana Living Standards Survey 2005/2006, about the same proportions are agricultural or fisheries worker.

Source: dailyguideghana

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