President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched the Ghana Census of Agriculture with a call on Ghanaians to embrace the census for proper planning for the agricultural sector.
He said more than 50 per cent of the population of Ghana was engaged in various forms of agriculture and for such an important sector to exist meaningfully without correct data meant projections for the sector were done at the blind side.
President Akufo-Addo said this at the national launch of the Ghana Census of Agriculture, at Sefwi Wiawso in the Sefwi Wiawso Municipality of the Western Region, during a three-day tour of the region.
He said the importance of the agricultural sector to the economic survival of the nation demanded an up to date data to allow both local and foreign people to have access in order to have an efficient planning on agriculture for the nation.
The President told the people that the distribution of fertilisers, chemicals, tractors and accessories, fishing nets, premix fuel and other farm inputs would need a correct data before all these logistics could be ordered for distribution to farmers.
President Akufo-Addo observed that the last census for agriculture which took place in 1983 was still being used after so many years making the country to underestimate in terms of inputs for the agricultural sector adding "both human population and the agriculture must conduct census every 10 years according to the United Nations to see the growth of the country."
The President said all policies and data about the agricultural sector were based on guess work which meant the inaccuracies in the sector would definitely produce wrong figures.
He said Ghana could not continue to neglect this sector and working on wrong data so this launch was the beginning of the gathering of proper data to feed the agricultural sector for meaningful and proper planning.
He said the Food and Agriculture Organisation would assist with technical support to overcome constraints and challenges the committee might encounter during the course of the census.
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Mr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the collection of the data would allow monitoring and proper planning for the sector.
He appealed for collaboration from traditional rulers and all stakeholders to come on board and assist the committee set up to oversee the census to come out with a clean data for easy planning.
The Paramount Chief of Anhwiaso Traditional Area, Ogyeohoho Nana Yaw Gyebi II who chaired the launch said this was the time for Ghanaians to show patriotism to the nation and contribute their quota to nation building.
He appealed to all traditional authorities to assist government to execute its plans for the nation to see a rapid transformation.
All the rulers for the Anhwiaso, Chirano, Sefwi Wiawso and Enchi paramountcies were present at the launch.