World Food Programme donates to Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Accra, The World Food Programme on Monday presented 33 Samsung Smartphones to the Statistics, Research and Information Directorate (SRID) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to enhance its weekly market price data collection.

The presentation was also to provide guidance on yield studies in 33 districts in the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Eastern, Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Volta Regions.

The SRID currently collects market prices in 172 markets from 150 districts in all the regions, using manual system, which delays the process of disseminating timely information to the headquarters for analysis.

Mrs Magdalene Owusu Moshi, Deputy Country Director, WFP said the gesture would help eliminate delays and enable SRID officials to immediately transmit information from the field to the Headquarters for prompt analysis of price and yield data.

She explained that the analysed data would enable stakeholders in the food security and nutrition sectors to determine the cash-values of these food commodities and the market behaviour in the selected districts to help with planning and programme implementation.

The Country Director said the support was part of WFP initiative, under the Enhanced Nutrition and Value Chains (ENVAC) project, an integrated food security and nutrition programme, which uses a market-based approach to address malnutrition in the country.

The ENVAC project, funded by Canada, has elements of government’s planting for food and jobs and one district one factory initiatives and it’s based on three pillars-smallholder farmers, industrial agro-processors and women and children.

Mrs Moshi said smallholder farmers were supported to produce good quality farm produce and sell them to industrial agro-processing firms in the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions, adding that, their outfit had provided agro-processing firms with technical and financial support to enable them produce specialised nutritious foods of international standard for vulnerable women and children.

She said the project directly and indirectly supports farmer based-organisations, nucleus farmers and aggregators of agriculture produce across the target regions, to produce, manage and provide quality cereals and beans.

The project is expected to promote food-based approaches and use social behavioural change communication to educate people on good nutrition, she added.

Mrs Phyllis Mends, the Deputy Director of SRID, MOFA, commended WFP for the presentation and pledged to make good use of the devices to ensure accurate and timely statistical information to its stakeholders.

She appealed to other organisations to support the Directorate to include all the districts in the country to play its role effectively.

The SRID was established to ensure the generation of relevant, accurate and timely statistics and information on agriculture for stakeholders to ensure that agricultural production decisions are based on objective and realistic criteria.

Source: Ghana News Agency