FAO launches to increase access to agriculture information
The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has officially handed over the Computer Assisted Personal Interview System (CAPI) developed through the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as part of efforts to improve access to agricultural market information.
The project, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the tune of $600,000 (N240m) would among other things provide Nigerians with near-real time agriculture information through crowd-sourced data from various players in the agricultural Value Chain.
The CAPI system would also enhance transparency and policy coordination in international food market, help prevent unexpected price hikes and strengthen global food security and provide detailed assessment of crops statistics like market prices, stocks and production forecast in the country.
The platform has a web-based repository that would provide easy access to agricultural data producing agencies and other agricultural market stakeholders across the country and help improve the process of agricultural data collection and dissemination to Nigerians.
FAO Country Representative, Nourou Macki Tall, who was represented by Mr. Patric David at the official handover ceremony, in Abuja noted that the core aim of the AMIS is to strengthen collaboration and dialogue among main producing, exporting and importing countries.
He disclosed that the project was developed at the request of Agriculture Ministers of the G20 in 2011, following the food crisis that caused extraordinary increase in the prices of food to about 150per cent in 2008, adding that AMIS was established as an inter-agency platform to enhance food market transparency and encourage coordination of policy action in response to market uncertainty.
The FAO official maintained that although the system has the capacity to provide a wide range of data on various produce, AMIS would focus on four crops, including wheat, maize, rice and Soybeans.
He said the five main objectives of the AMIS project, in line with the global mandate include, data analysis, quality statistics, capacity development, outreach and policy dialogue, adding that through the use of data, businesses and players in the agriculture sector can connect with consumers and maximize their profit.
The Minister of Agriculture, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Bukar Hassan in his remarks emphasised the need to have a vibrant marketing system to match up with the growth of agricultural production in the country.
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