ACCRA– President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched the 2018 Ghana Census of Agriculture at Sefwi Wiawso in Western Region (province) at the weekend.

The census, which which started in April this year, is scheduled to end on July 31, 2018, and would collate data for proper planning and development of the agricultural sector.

The programme is a collaboration between the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, with technical support from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to collect, process and disseminate information on the nature and structure of agriculture, availability of agricultural and social services in agricultural communities.

It would also help in the formulation of strategies and policies, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of such policies, in the agricultural sector.

The last Census of Agriculture in the country was conducted about 33 years ago.

An Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee, headed by the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has been established to ensure the successful implementation of the census, and establish the institutional foundation for regular censuses.

President Akufo-Addo was not happy that over the years, policies geared towards agricultural development had been based largely on a trial and error basis. It is no wonder that over the years the country had witnessed systematic decline in the agricultural sector, we cannot afford such neglect again, he said.

“It is my fervent hope that this 2018 Ghana Census of Agriculture will be the beginning of a new cycle of ten-year censuses.”

He urged Ghana’s traditional rulers, religious leaders, and other opinion leaders to assist in the publicity campaign on the census for maximum participation by all.