The Government has begun processes to conduct a Census of Agriculture, to produce and disseminate complete and reliable data for decision making and for monitoring programmes aimed at further developing the agricultural sector and the economy.
The Census of Agriculture is a nationwide exercise that collects, processes and disseminates information on the structure of agriculture, geography, socio-economic conditions, infrastructure, and availability of agricultural and social services in agricultural communities, and potentials and constraints for development in those communities.
The exercise, planned for 2016 to 2019, is a collaborative effort between the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture with technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organization.
To this end, a training of trainers’ workshop was held concurrently across the country to equip participants with the requisite knowledge that would enable them to effectively train field personnel for the data collection exercise.
The training of field personnel will be held from April 03 to April 12.
Mr Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister, who read a speech on behalf of the Minister of Food and Agriculture during the closing of the nine-day Northern Regional training of trainers’ workshop in Tamale on Monday, said reliable agriculture statistics would be generated for the purposes of planning, monitoring food and security and livelihood requirement.
Mr Saeed said the Census of Agriculture would provide current information on the structure of agriculture in the country, which was vital to the rebasing of the country’s gross domestic product, given that the last Census of Agriculture was conducted in 1985.
He said “It will provide statistics on agriculture for policy makers to allocate public resources effectively and to better identify, prepare, implement and evaluate developmental projects aimed at promoting agriculture in the rural areas”.
The main data collection for the census will be preceded by a listing exercise during which trained field personnel will visit all households and institutions to assign numbers to all structures and identify all households.
This will be followed by the actual data collection exercise where enumerators will visit all households and institutions engaged in the production of any type of food crop, livestock, aquaculture in both inland and offshore waters, as well as any type of tree planting activity, and enumerate them.
Mr Saeed urged all respondents to cooperate fully with the field officers by providing all required data to ensure success of the exercise.
He appealed to chiefs, religious and opinion leaders to assist in the publicity campaign for the exercise.