Data is significant for any industry to thrive. The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) will embark on Ghana Census of Agriculture fieldwork come February, 2018 to collect data to inform national policy on the sector.
Agriculture makes up a large proportion of economic activities in most developing economies, including Ghana and it creates jobs and improves livelihoods of the rural populations.
Mr Baah Wadie, the Acting Government Statistician, said agricultural statistics provide input and output information in agriculture , including crop production, livestock products, forestry and fishery products, land use, agricultural machinery, water use, fertilizers, and pesticides.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s African Statistics Day celebration in Accra, Mr Wadie said the development of agricultural statistics is key to monitoring poverty reduction, food security, environmental sustainability and improving the livelihood of citizens.
“It is in this regard that the Statistical Service wishes to inform all households and institutional agricultural establishments of the impending Ghana Census of Agriculture fieldwork that is scheduled to start in February, 2018,” he said.
He urged the public to cooperate provide accurate information when the enumerators visit their premises or farms.
The Day held under the theme: “Better Lives with Better Economic Statistics”, was celebrated at Makola Market to underscore the important role market women and men play in the data gathering exercises.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in 1990, adopted November 18 each year as African Statistics Day and since then all national offices in Africa to raise public awareness of the importance of statistical in all aspects of social and economic life.
The Day also provides an opportunity to advocate for major statistical operations, including censuses and surveys.
Mr Wadie said they chose to launch the Day on a week day as this year’s event falls on a weekend, adding that there would be activities lined up from today’s launch to Saturday.
He said the theme focused on the critical role of economic statistics plays in underpinning economic governance that leads to durable growth with better lives and better economic status for all citizens of Africa.
Mr Wadie said the availability and appropriate use of good economic statistics could translate into better lives for people through providing evidence as a basis for policy and decision-making by the nation, or by firms, households and citizens.
“Statistics provide information for monitoring, evaluation, and reporting on progress in meeting the goals and targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as basis for effective economic governance to promote the welfare of a nation.
“The achievement of the SDGs, which are packed with tremendous promises of better quality of life for all, is to be owned, especially by African countries, where poverty continues to strike the life of large groups of people,” he said.
Mr Wadie thanked all households, establishments, and individuals who respond to their field staff during the conduct of statistical enquiries including censuses and household sample surveys, particularly, the recently completed Integrated Business Establishment Survey.
He said the provision of reliable, quality, objective and timely statistics is a basic state function and must be supported by all and pledged the GSS continuous support to work hard to provide quality statistics including economic statistics for better development outcomes.
Dr Albert Laguterah of the Ghana Statistician Association called on governments to adequately equip institutions that train statisticians on the continent to enable them tap into the recent technological advances in the sector.
Nanabia Margaret Abbey, the Market Queen at Kwasia Juaso in Accra, urged the GSS staff to first contact the leadership of the market to enable them to educate their membership about their presence and purpose of visit to facilitate their work.
The women were taken through a demonstration on market reading and the need to cooperate with the GSS staff.