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We need quality data to achieve food security —KALE

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ABUJA—Nigeria cannot achieve growth and development in its economic diversification plan without proper planning and access to quality data in the agricultural sector, the Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale has said.

Dr. Kale stated this on Wednesday at the presentation and formal handover of Agricultural Market Information System, AMIS Computer Assisted Interviewing, CAPI System to the Federal government    by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO at NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.

AMIS CAPI system is an inter-agency platform set up for the collection of agricultural    data in Nigeria and to enhance food market transparency and policy response for food security.    It was launched in 2011 by the G20 Ministers of Agriculture following the global food price hikes in 2007/08 and 2010 to about 150 per cent.

By bringing together principal trading countries of agricultural commodities, AMIS assesses global food supplies and provides a platform to coordinate policy action in times of market uncertainty.

The NBS Chief said quality data is critical at this stage of    diversification of the economy in Nigeria, especially in the area of agriculture to enable the policy makers come up with good policies and measure the extent of growth and development in food production and marketing.

“There must be adequate planning for growth and development to take place. Without planning, there can’t be development.    For us to have a good policy, there must be quality data.

“At this stage of diversification, we need data and for us to measure our development, we need quality data. You can’t know if you are food secure without data.

“AMIS will help us to know the diversity and strength of each state in terms of agriculture. It is only when we have data that we can talk about areas of improvement. With the use of CAPI, we can avoid use of paper in data collection,” he said.

FAO Country Representative, Nourou Macki Tall, while handing over the system, said the birth of the AMIS CAPI initiative will provide unparalleled access to agriculture data to various stakeholders across the country and in turn, bring remarkable growth to the agriculture sector.

He explained that the initiative will also bring to fore, a system that will bring about a paradigm shift in the way we collect and manage agriculture data in Nigeria.

He said, “Data has become extremely important in today’s global economy. The world has never been more connected. The excess produce of a farmer in Kano, might be key to fulfilling the scarcity of a factory in Kansas or Kentucky in the United States of America, thousands of miles away.

“Through the use of data, businesses and certainly, players in the agriculture sector, are able to connect with a broader range of consumers and maximize profit. With data, they can now understand their consumer needs better and through the collection and analysis of these data, policy makers are able to make better and informed decisions.”

According to him, the core objective of AMIS is to strengthen collaboration and dialogue among main producing, exporting and importing countries.

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