Need for Reliable, Timely Data on Agriculture Underscored to Carry Out Evidence-based Policy Decisions

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Addis Ababa (ENA) 18 November 2022 Planning and Development Minister Fisum Assefa (Phd) stressed today the need for producing reliable and timely data on agriculture by using statistically sound methodology in order to carry out evidence-based policy decisions.

The minister made the remark at the event organized to commemorate the African Statistics Day in Addis Ababa.

The theme of this year’s African Statistics Day is “strengthening data systems by modernizing the production and use of agricultural statistics: informing policies with a view to improving resilience in agriculture, nutrition, and food security in Africa.”

The theme calls to modernize data systems for the production, dissemination, and use of agricultural statistics.

Fisum said during the occasion that for a country like Ethiopia where agriculture is the main stay of the economy, strengthening of data system on statistics in agricultural production, marketing as well as establishing strong data system across the entire agricultural value chain is very crucial to ensure resilience food security in the country, among others.

“While its share from the national economy continued to decline over the years, agriculture still plays a crucial role in Ethiopia’s economy. For instance, during the 2021/22 fiscal year, agriculture’s share from the total merchandizing export was close to 72 percent. In terms of employment, agriculture remains the single biggest source of employment in the country. Despite its significant role in the economy, agriculture in Ethiopia remains underdeveloped.”

According to her, high quality statistics on agriculture plays indispensable role in order to address the structural challenges the country faces in the sector.

“Reliable and timely data on agriculture through implementing statistically sound methodology is vital in order to carry out evidence-based policy decisions.”

She further underlined the importance of strengthened data system if Ethiopia is to achieve the ambitious target set out in the country’s ten-year development plan not only in agriculture but also in other productive sectors, including manufacturing and mining.

Africa Centre for Statistics Director, Oliver Chinganya pointed out that for the 2063 development agenda of the African continent to be successfully implemented, the use of large amount of statistical data is key.

He stressed the need for better understanding of these challenges and opportunities involved in achieving all the sustainable goals as their targets require high quality statistical data and analysis to informed decision making and policy design.

Ethiopian Central Statistical Service of Ethiopia Director-General, Beker Shale (Phd) said on his part that using statistical data is crucially important for the effective implementation of agricultural development activities in order to help ensure food self-sufficiency.

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