Surveys on market price trends of agricultural products, statistics and research information that were left on shelves to gather dust in offices would now be made available to the public following the launch of a Website for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
The website would serve as a reference source for critical agricultural data and information on recipes and tips on food safety and food handling.
Launching the website in Accra yesterday, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi expressed the Ministry’s determination to provide the public with timely and reliable data, safety tips and information relating to agriculture in Ghana.
He said the launch of the website was necessitated by the fact that knowledge is now a critical component of development, often disseminated and accessed through an interesting and innovative mix of both old and new technologies.
According to the Minister, in line with achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the Ministry would remain focused on its mission of promoting sustainable agriculture and thriving agribusiness through research and technology development, effective extension and other support services to farmers, processors and traders for improved livelihood.
He said students, researchers, businessmen and women, policy makers, traders, farmers, fishermen and many professionals rely on websites in planning and decision making and agriculture which is the back bone of the Ghanaian economy cannot be left behind.
Mr. Ahwoi said that over the past four months, the performance of the Ministry’s website had witnessed tremendous improvement explaining that an Alexa World Ranking Statistics rated the website as plus 2100 per cent improvement in the website visitor access.
He said the only Government of Ghana owned website in the first one 100 was the Ministry’s website which is currently ranked 70 in the category as at December 20.
Mr. Tiny Aidoo, Head of Policy Planning and Evaluation at the Presidency, said knowledge and information are power and that accurate information was good for development.
He commended the Ministry for the initiative, describing the website as an impressive platform for fruitful dialogue towards increased agricultural productivity.
Mr. Aidoo urged the Ministry to post onto the website, information that would contribute to qualitative change.
He suggested that practical agricultural extension services on fish farming and animal rearing accompanied by pictorial presentation be part of information posted on the website so that those interested in venturing into such areas could do so without writing letters and waiting very long periods for responses.
The Minister for trade and Industry, Ms. Hannah Tetteh who chaired the launching ceremony said though a lot had been achieved in the agriculture sector a lot more needed to be done to ensure sustainable food security.
Ms. Tetteh commended the Minister for Food and Agriculture and his team for their initiative saying it would not only provide information on the ministry but would make it accessible and accountable in line with the government’s policy of attaining a better Ghana for its people.