The President, Akufo-Addo, last Friday officially launched the 2018 Ghana Census of Agriculture at Sefwi Wiawso in the Western Region.
The census, which is being conducted from April 30, 2018 to July 31, 2018, is a collaboration between the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, with technical support from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The initiative would help collect, process and disseminate information on the nature and structure of agriculture, availability of agricultural and social services in agricultural communities.
It would also inform the formulation of strategies and policies, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of such policies, in the agricultural sector.
The last Census of Agriculture in the country was conducted about 33 years ago.
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 censuses.
President Akufo-Addo bemoaned ghe fact that over the years, policies gearee towards agricultural development had been based largely on guess work.
“It is no wonder that over the years the country had witnessed 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 indicated.
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 Ghanaians that his government remained 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 improve agriculture to be able to improve on the quality of life for our people,” the President stressed.
The Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Owusu Afriyie Akoto noted that data from the census would also help in monitoring the country’s progress under the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II) of Ghana.
He indicated that the United Nations had specified that every member country should have agriculture census at least once every ten years adding "Ghana had not have one for about 33 years".
" Giving the importance of agriculture to this government, it decided to put together an agriculture census which is ongoing ", he indicated.
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