General News of Tuesday, 25 July 2017
The Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie, has said that the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the Statistics, Research, and Information Directorate (SRID) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) have not used the available data gathering opportunities to their advantage.
This statement was made during the ‘Evidence to Action’ conference organized by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) in Accra by Mr. John Nortey, Deputy Director of Statistics, Research and Information Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, who represented the Minister at the event.
According to him, the two institutions have been unable to implement policies due to the underutilization of available data gathering avenues.
“Despite all these efforts, it is however sad that data gathering activities by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the Statistics, Research, and Information Directorate (SRID) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) have not been fully utilized to inform policy”, he stated.
“Here at home, agriculture is the backbone of Ghana’s economy and the government is committed to ensuring that agricultural activities are enhanced in the country to benefit farmers in particular and the population in general. That is why the objective of Ghana’s development strategy, outlined in the Poverty Reduction Strategy II (GPRS-II), is to accelerate economic growth in order to achieve middle-income status”, he added.
According to him, it is ‘sad that 50 years after independence, the African continent continues to bear the hunger which is exacerbated by shocking levels of food loss and waste’.
He advised that urgent and radical actions are taken, as well as a shift in focus and practice.
“In order to turn the continent’s food security options around, we need to move beyond focusing on increasing productivity at farm level and scale up efforts to proactively implement policy and practice recommendations coming out of research and evaluation projects being undertaken by various chain actors”, he concluded.