Maputo — DISTRICT councils across the country will set up agriculture data systems to enable the central government access on a daily basis the status of the sector.
Assistant Director of Agricultural Inputs at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Co-operatives, Dr Mshindo Msolla, told the 'Sunday News' at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRF) following the launch of the first African Agriculture Status Report.
The report is based on information from 16 African countries including Tanzania and pay particular attention to agricultural land and labour productivity and potential to achieve rapid growth and development. Dr Msolla said it as a good thing for district councils to have more detailed statistics and a sophisticated data system which would encourage planning with input from small holder farmers.
"It is a good thing because it enables countries to evaluate themselves. Agriculture area is weak in terms of data collection. There are few ministries that have strong data systems," he said.
Tanzania decided that every district council should have a statistics and data collection department on agriculture, adding that the Trade and Industry ministry should work hand in hand to set up data systems. Mozambican Minister of Industry and Trade, Armando Inroga said at the launch that research shows agriculture must remain a basic factor in the development policies and strategies of African governments.
"We are beginning to study the causes of the levels of agricultural productivity in Africa, structures of production and economic policies associated with them and the constraints that have determined our low productivity compared with other parts of the world," said Inroga.
"The report provides evidence that reflects the results achieved in the agricultural sector and the main challenges that have yet to be overcome." AGRA Board deputy chairperson Strive Masiyiwa said that if Africa wants to achieve a successful green revolution, each country needs to know where it stands and how its development has delayed.
"For the first time the report shows us the big picture and allows us to make comparisons between countries," Masiyiwa said. "It provides important and reliable data which will lead, we hope, to more informed and responsible policies," he added. The report notes that agriculture remains key to African food security, employment and growth but agricultural productivity remains lower than that of other continents.