Ghana to conduct agriculture census in 2013 after three decades

farmer_1The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) will organize an agricultural census next year 2013.

The project that would be funded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is aimed at generating fundamental data on the organizational structure of agricultural holdings.

Dr Philomena Nyarko, Acting Government Statistician, disclosed these in a speech read on her behalf by Mr Kofi Agyeman-Duah, Acting Deputy Government Statistician, at a stakeholders meeting in preparation for the 2013 Agriculture Census, in Accra.

Dr Nyarko said the last agriculture census was conducted in 1984 and another one was expected to be conducted in the following ten years, according to FAO recommendations.

She said since 1986, the Statistics, Research and Information Directorate of the MOFA had conducted annual agricultural surveys to make estimates for crops and livestock production.

Dr Nyarko said the GSS had designed a national strategy for the development of statistics proposed to conduct an agriculture census after the 2010 Population and Housing Census, and that the proposal was justified because Ghana had not undertaken an agriculture census for almost three decades now.

She said government applied to the FAO for technical support in May 2011, which was granted in September 2012, and a team of agricultural statistics experts was appointed to prepare for the census that would take place next year.

Mr Ibrahim Kebe, of the Crop Production FAO Sub-regional Office for West Africa, said the objective of the FAO mission was to evaluate the technical and financial conditions, and ensure the feasibility of the agricultural census and prepare a feasibility report outlining a strategy for implementation and associated financing.

He said the census would provide a data on agriculture holdings such as farm size, land use, land tenure, livestock numbers and the use of machinery as well as the number of holdings with each crop livestock type.

Mr Kebe said the census would also give a large-scale statistical operation for the collection and derivation of quantitative information about the structure of agriculture in the country.

Source: GNA

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