UBOS launches agri info site


Wednesday, 14th July, 2010

By David Ssempijja
THE Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) in conjunction with the ministry of Agriculture have launched the CountryStat, a web-based information system that delivers improved access to better quality statistics on food and agriculture at national and sub-national levels.

CountryStat Uganda is part of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) initiative supported by $5.6m grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve the quality, accessibility, relevance and reliability of food and agriculture statistics in 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The project was developed by the FAO and implemented by UBOS and the ministry of Agriculture together with key stakeholder institutions such as Uganda Coffee Development Authority, National Forestry Authority, Cotton Development Organisation, Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics of Makerere University.

CountryStat Uganda is a new and valuable tool in the hands of policy-makers and analysts to combat hunger and poverty across the country whose key statistical areas of focus are, production, consumption, prices and trade.

Speaking at the launch at Grand Imperial recently, the UBOS executive director, Male Mukasa, was optimistic that the availability and easy access to reliable agricultural data would serve as an important planning tool for it is an engine for Uganda's economy.

"This will serve as a tool as we seek to improve the country nutritional value as well as up-scaling the financial benefits from agriculture," he said.

CountryStat will harmonise and integrate national and sub-national data and metadata on food and agriculture in the country and with other countries through a centralised and standardised database framework, data exchange platform, and set of analysis tools.

In so doing, it will facilitate planning and decision-making by policy-makers and analysts, particularly in the fight against hunger and poverty.

The grant to FAO for its CountryStat initiative is part of the foundation's agricultural development initiative to provide small farmers in the developing world with tools and opportunities to boost their yields, increase their incomes for better livelihoods.

The foundation is working to strengthen the entire agricultural value chain, from seeds and soil to farm management and market access.