ASARECA at statistics meet
Participants at the just concluded Conference on Agricultural Statistics titled Action Plan for Improving Statistics for Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture, and Rural Development in Africa, have noted that there is limited engagement between national, regional and global research centers in developing and using agricultural statistics. The conference also showed that national and regional research institutions are not tapping the best from global statistics initiatives.
The conference, organised by the African Development Bank, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment of Senegal in Dakar, Senegal, was meant boost the implementation of Strategic Plans for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS) developed by African countries. The theme of the Conference was “Sustaining the development of agricultural statistics through national agricultural policies”.
The objectives of the conference held from January 23-27, 2017 were to: Highlight the importance of agriculture statistics in the formulation, implementation monitoring and evaluation of national development plans and agricultural policies; share best practices and experiences in mobilizing resources for the implementation of SPARS; take stock of challenges faced by countries in the implementation of SPARS and propose possible ways to address them; and define policies to mobilize resources for agricultural statistics. The conference also conducted an awareness campaign on the need to allocate significant resources to agricultural statistics in funding the implementation of national development plans and agricultural policies.
ASARECA was represented at the conference by the Interim Executive Secretary, Dr. Cyprian Ebong. According to Dr. Ebong, the conference is critical for ASARECA, whose new strategic thrust is to work with relevant regional, continental and global initiatives to deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly SDG2 that seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.
“Given disparities among research institutions on the African continent in developing national strategic plans for Agricultural Rural Statistics (SPARS), and noting that our institutions are not well syndicated with global statistics initiatives, ASARECA is well positioned to link the initiative to the sub-region and the national Agricultural Research Systems,” Dr. Ebong noted in a recent ASARECA planning briefing note.
The meeting was attended by Planners in Agriculture Ministries, heads of national statistics institutes, directors of agricultural statistics across Africa, representatives of Regional Economic Communities, the African Development Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the European Commission, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID and members of the academia among others.