From Francis Owusu-Ansah, Ayomso
The Deputy Director in-charge of Regional Coordination of the Information Services Department (ISD), Mr Isaac Dupey, has advised Ghanaians not to politicise the ongoing agricultural census in the country. He noted that the exercise is necessary for the provision of accurate data to help the government and institutions with planning and research.
Mr. Dupey was speaking during a farmers’ durbar, organised by the ISD, in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), at Ayomso in the Asunafo North Municipality of the Brong-Ahafo Region, as part of its nationwide awareness campaign about the 2018 Census of Agriculture.
He explained that the exercise is to collect reliable information on agricultural activities across the country, adding that farmers must cooperate with the enumerators to ensure accuracy.
Mr Dupey said contrary to rumours, the exercise was not for tax collection purposes.
The Regional Information Officer (RIO), Imoro Ayibani, urged the municipal and district information officers to intensify the public campaigns to ensure the success of the exercise.
The ISD has held similar durbars in Techiman, Dormaa and Bechem, and also deployed vans to the various communities to publicise the exercise.
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.
According to government statisticians, agricultural statistics provide input and output information in agriculture, including crop production, livestock products, forestry and fishery products, land use, agricultural machinery, water use, fertilisers, and pesticides.
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 is undertaking census of agriculture fieldwork.
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 raise public awareness of the importance of statistical in all aspects of social and economic life.
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 the 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
The provision of reliable, quality, objective and timely statistics is a basic state function and must be supported by all.