Govt urged to invest more data collection

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in agriculture in the country have called on the government to increase investment in data collection, and adequately resource research institutions for reliable data and effective monitoring, to address constraints impeding agricultural sector growth.

The CSO include the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, SEND Ghana, Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT), African Youth Network for Agricultural Transformation (ANYAT) and Coalition of Civil Society on Land (CICOL).

The recommendation was in a communiqué issued at the end of a day’s workshop on Ghana’s progress in achieving the objectives of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAAPD), held in Accra.

It aimed at increasing agriculture spending to at least 10 per cent of the annual budgets African Union (AU) member states.

The communiqué urged the government to provide a strategic data collection plan, and called for further training on the reporting process and data requirements to enable CSOs to make meaningful contributions to the process.

It said CSOs could assist in addressing specific data needs, and asked the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to prioritise a process to identify and profile all agricultural related NSA/CSOs at the sub-national level.

The communiqué recommended that active CSOs be given representation on the CAADP team to make CSOs proactive in the mutual accountability processes with government.

The CSOs called on the technical teams of the AU supporting the Biennial Review Process, to review the reporting indicators for member countries or allow member countries to review the indicators to reflect their country’s agricultural priority areas in view of the cumbersomeness and unrealistic data requirements for the reports.

It urged for capacity building of CSOs on the reporting processes, engagement of CSOs on scores presented by the government for validation to guarantee accuracy and credibility of information.

The communiqué further urged the AU to help improve intra-continental trade by eradicating trade barriers and governments should prioritise investment in agriculture to create a ready market for farmers in the region and make the continent food sufficient.

On the Planting for Food and Jobs, the CSOs called on the government to specific allocations for women, youth and other vulnerable groups and introduce sustainable land management practices.

It urged for an improve stakeholders’ participation in the programme through better developed and operationalised consultations and strengthen extension and marketing services for farmers

By Times Reporter

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