The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has launched the 2018 Ghana Census of Agriculture, which will inform the formulation of strategies and policies, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of such policies, in the agricultural sector.
With the last Census of Agriculture conducted some 33 years ago, President Akufo-Addo noted that at a time where there have been dramatic changes in the structure and content of Ghanaian agriculture, policy in this period has, consequently, been based largely on guess work.
“It is no wonder that this period witnessed the systematic decline of our agriculture. We cannot afford such neglect again. It is my fervent wish and hope that this 2018 Ghana Census of Agriculture will be the beginning of a new cycle of ten year censuses, as we used to have,” the President said.
The census, a collaborative effort between the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, with technical support from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), will collect, process and disseminate information on the nature and structure of agriculture, availability of agricultural and social services in agricultural communities, and the potentials and constraints for development in those communities, the better to guide effective policy making.
Data from the census will also help in monitoring the country’s progress under the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II) of Ghana; the 2017-2024 Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies; and the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
An Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee, headed by the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, is to ensure the successful implementation of the census, and establish the institutional foundation for regular, future censuses.
With field data collection having begun on 30th April, 2018, after the training of field personnel, President Akufo-Addo appealed to all Ghanaians to give them the needed support in the discharge of their duties.
He urged traditional rulers, religious leaders, and other opinion leaders to assist in the publicity campaign in the ongoing census.
“The success of the census will depend on the efficiency of our field personnel, and I thank them for the good work done so far. I am confident that we will succeed in this endeavour, if all stakeholders play their respective roles effectively in the implementation of the census,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo assured the gathering that his government remains fully committed to the completion of the 2018 Ghana Census of Agriculture to improve on the National Agricultural Statistics System.
“This census must become a regular feature of our national life. Agriculture remains the fuel that powers all our activity in Ghana. We ignore it at our risk. My government will, certainly, not ignore it. We need to raise agriculture to a higher plane to be able to improve on the quality of life for our people,” the President stressed.