Wpid Kofi Humado
There Is No Agricultural Census Data On Ghana

kofi humado

Kofi Humado

Ghana?s inability to conduct an agriculture census over the last 20 years has affected the presentation of agricultural data in the country.

Current data only covers sample surveys and sample collection of data and presentation, a development which has affected the country?s presentation of data on agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, among others.

Kofi Humado, Minister for Food & Agriculture, disclosed this on Friday in Accra at a forum organised by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), in conjunction with the Statistics, Research and Information Directorate (SRID) of the Ministry of Food & Agriculture (MOFA).

?Though we have had many organizations such as IFPRI that have helped to fill in the gaps, we still need the complete picture that is provided through the implementation of agricultural censuses. My guess is that we are probably underestimating our agricultural production levels and thus the growth of the sub-sectors of agriculture.

In order to help address the situation, the Minister said the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) was supporting Ghana through the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) to implement an agricultural census within the next three years.

?Preparatory activities have already started and I was a witness to the signing of a TCP between the FAO and the GSS, just a few months ago, which will open the financial doors to undertaking the agriculture census come 2015.

Philomena Nyarko, Government Statistician, in a presentation, stated that production data on tree crops (citrus, mango, coconut and cashew, etc) were obtained from estimates and projections produced by SRID, MoFA while oil palm production figures were based on estimated outputs from large-scale companies such as Ghana Oil Palm Production Development Company, Benso Oil Palm Production Company and Twifo Oil Palm Production Company, among others.

Data on cocoa and coffee were provided by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr Nyarko noted, adding that the figures were based on estimates from purchases made by the produce buying companies.

A report on the global strategy to improve agriculture statistics (FAO 2009) revealed a serious deficiency in agricultural statistics.

While demand for data by users was increasing, assessment of current statistical capacity reveals that a large number of countries, especially in the developing world, are not able to meet basic requirements of data collection, analysis and dissemination, the report noted.

By George Edem Tamakloe


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