Five million cedis secured to start agricultural census

The Ghana Statistical Service has secured some funding to embark on a nationwide agricultural census to collect data on farmers, farm size and crops cultivated for decision making. The project should have started in 2014 but was delayed due to lack of funds. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture estimates that, it will need a total of 22 million cedis for successful implementation of the census. However, only five million cedis has been released by the Ministry of Finance to start the procurement process of the project. Funding for the agriculture census has been and is still a great challenge. The release of five million cedis leaves a funding gap of 17 million cedis for implementing the core and community modules of the census. Typical structural data to be collected in the census include: size of holding, land tenure, land use, crop area harvested, irrigation, livestock numbers, and labour. There has been 28-year gap since the last census, instead of the recommended 10-year interval. Speaking in an interview with TV3, the Ashanti Regional Director of Economic Statistics at the Ghana Statistical Service, Asuo Atram, confirmed that they have started with the procurement process. He said his outfit has written to the Ministry of Finance requesting the release of the outstanding balance. The data for the exercise would be collected directly from agricultural holdings, but some community–level data may also be collected, he remarked. The census will be carried out by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Ghana Statistical Service with technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organization. The emphasis will be on crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry products. The census, when completed, is expected to provide reliable data on the agricultural sector to enable the Ministry of Food and Agriculture plan and implement priority policies and programmes for the achievement of the country’s Food and Agriculture Sector Development policy [FASDEP11] By Benjamin Aidoo |TV3|3news.com]]>