USAID Donates IT Equipment to Enhance Agriculture Data Collection
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) presented tablets and other information technology (IT) equipment to the Statistics, Research and Information Directorate (SRID) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). The electronic equipment and software were donated to enhance the collection of agricultural statistics. The IT equipment and data collection system will minimize human error in agriculture data collection and analysis, as well as improve overall data quality and credibility. USAID Mission Director Andrew Karas handed over the IT equipment to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Honorable Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna.
“Today’s handover of equipment and software will enable the Ministry to store vast quantities of data, and to access information on demand,” remarked Karas. “It will significantly improve the Ministry’s capacity to undertake field surveys and collect, secure, and analyze data.”
Among the equipment donated were 3G tablets fitted with global positioning system (GPS), which will help SRID produce credible data and information to support appropriate and effective policy analysis, decision-making and planning. In Ghana, policymakers often lack quality data, as well as the capacity to analyze and communicate findings. Funded by USAID, the Agriculture Policy Support Project (APSP) assisted SRID to design, develop and implement a Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) data collection system in support of the Ghana Agriculture Production and Market Price Surveys.
CAPI provides a holistic approach for quality agriculture data collection including geographical information system plotting, analysis and management. The donated equipment will allow SRID to move from collecting data using a pencil and paper, to real-time mobile data collection using the CAPI system on 3G tablets to conduct Ghana’s annual Agricultural Production Survey and Market Price Survey.
APSP, as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, will support SRID with its data collection to ensure data quality and for policy-making purposes. Additionally through APSP, SRID staff and district-level officers are receiving training on the CAPI system. The development of the CAPI system begun in June 2015 and the application, system implementation, monitoring and gradual transfer to SRID will be completed by September 2016.