Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture have told Citi Business News the 2018 Ghana Census of Agriculture will greatly improve the sector by providing accurate data to help in policy formulation.
According to the ministry, the exercise will help formulate strategies and policies, as well as monitor and evaluate the Agricultural sector.
With the last Census of Agriculture conducted some 33 years ago, players in the sector have noted that it is critical for the sector to have accurate information, especially at a time where there have been dramatic changes in the structure and content of the sector.
The exercise which began on 30th April 2018 will close at the end of the year, and is expected to guide future policies to grow the sector.
In an interview with Citi Business News, the Deputy Coordinator of the Ghana Census of Agriculture, Sydney Nii Oko Bampoe Addo explained that the exercise will capture all the subsectors of Agriculture in the country.
“The census seeks to provide accurate and reliable data to the general public for policy formulation and because we haven’t had this census for many years, any figure that will be disseminated is by estimate”, he stressed.
He added, “but this Agriculture Census is supposed to give us the correct structure of Agriculture in the country”.
Between 2009 and 2017, Agricultures’s contribution to GDP has dropped significantly.
The figure has reduced from 31.8 to 18.3 percent within the nine year period.
There are varied reasons why this is so; these include the impact of the weather, low crop yield as well as inadequate funding for the sector.
For the General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers Union, Edward Kareweh, the census is timely, considering the waning fortunes of the sector.
“The census is timely , one will say that it ought to have come before this time but if it had not come then this is the time for us to do it”.
He, however warned that the census will not serve its purpose of helping to revamp the sector if government does not go a step further in applying the recommendations to be proffered to the latter.
“The census alone does not necessarily guarantee improvement within the agricultural sector because it goes beyond just having information about the agricultural sector,” he said.