Web Resource for Farming Data Launched in Tanzania
A one-stop online resource for national statistics on agriculture was launched in Dar es Salaam last week. The National Bureau of Statics (NBS) partnered with the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) to establish the website. Through the initiative, it will now be easy for researchers and other information seekers to access vital data, especially on agriculture and food, on the website www.countrySTAT.org.
The Web-based information would provide improved access to better quality statistics on food and agriculture at the national and sub-national levels. Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperation minister Stephen Wassira said in a speech read on his behalf by the ministry's director for policy and planning, Emmanuel Acheyo, that the establishment of the database would help policymakers to come up with appropriate strategies.
He said policymakers, especially in the agriculture and food sector, had for many years been unable to come up with proper plans due to the lack of adequate statistics. "With the Web-based information system it will be easier for policymakers to integrate evidence based policies that would help in economic development of our country," the minister said.
CountrySTAT is a FAO initiative supported by a $5.6 million (Sh7.3 billion) grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The initiative aims to improve the quality, accessibility, relevance and reliability of food and agriculture statistics in 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.