A four-member District Management Team [DMT] to oversee the successful conduct of the Ghana Census of Agric [GCA], has been inaugurated in the Bongo District. The team comprised the District Coordinating Director, the District Director of the Department of Agric, the District Planning Officer and the District Information Officer.
Some responsibilities of the DMT include to ensure the provision of facilities for all activities of the GCA, assist in the recruitment of field staff, ensure effective education and publicity for the census, ensure that the census activities are carried out within schedule and facilitate information sharing and dissemination among other duties.
The Ghana Statistical Service in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other partners, is spearheading the GCA throughout Ghana. Meanwhile, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation [FAO] is providing technical support to these stakeholders in order to ensure a successful conduct of the census.
Bongo District Chief Executive, Hon. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga did the formal inauguration of the DMT. He explained in his inaugural address that, the census was a statistical operation that shall cover the whole of Ghana. He said it will allow for the collection, processing, publishing and dissemination of information on the structure of agriculture and the state of development of the rural areas. According to him, data will be collected directly from households and some institutions on their agricultural activities including crop farming, tree planting, aquaculture and lives stock among other agric-related activities.
Hon. Ayamga added that, information will also be collected from communities mainly on the geography, availability of basic facilities, socio-economic conditions, transport infrastructure, availability of community services and potentials for development as well as constraints to development. He noted that the overall objective the GCA is to produce and disseminate complete and reliable agricultural data to meet the needs of policy makers and other users to support informed decision making. It will also induce effective planning and enhance the monitoring of development programmes targeted at further boosting agriculture and developing the rural areas.
The DCE observed that the GCA will provide additional information on the level of equipment and technology used by households involved in any form of agriculture, human resource availability, land tenure systems of agricultural holdings, food security and sustainable agriculture and the number of holders and sizes of holdings among others. He disclosed that the GCA project was being implemented over a four-year period from January 2016 through to December, 2019. He said it was to be rolled out in four phases in line with the Modular Approach recommended by the FAO for the 2020 Round of World Census of Agriculture.
Hon. Ayamga asked that he be briefed by the DMT on its meetings so that he will be constantly updated with the activities about the census. He also pledged that his office was ready to assist the DMT in any form that was necessary for the success of the census. He for instance invited the DMT members to attend a General Assembly Meeting scheduled for the 15th – 16th May, 2018 and use the platform to educate Assembly members and other attendees on the census.
In his welcome address earlier on, Bongo District Director of the Department of Agric Mr. Drah Edgar, revealed that authorities in charge of the GCA had already carried out some trainings for data collectors and other stakeholders both at the national and regional levels. Media engagements and other dissemination fora had also been held.
Mr. Drah revealed that as per available records, the first census of agriculture in Ghana was in 1950 followed by another in 1964 and then much later, one other conducted in 1985. He therefore noted that the most recent data for the purposes of planning and programme execution in the agric sector was over 30 years old and couldn’t be relied on for the country’s development agenda in these modern times. He thus appealed for the needed help from all authorities that matter so that the district will play its roles effectively in carrying out the census.
Paramount Chief for the Bongo traditional area, Naba Baba Salifu A. Lemyaarum chaired the brief inaugural ceremony. He noted in his remarks that, the failure or success of the agric census in the Bongo area will depend largely on the DMT and thus, pledged the support of traditional council to the team in its work. He invited the team to partake in an upcoming traditional council meeting to do publicity for the census. He also promised the team free air-time on the Bongo Community FM Station any time there was some information to be shared with the public.
Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam (ISD)