Ministerial Conference on Open Data and Nutrition and the 4th Agritec Africa International Exhibition

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) places premium on Agriculture, specifically Goal 2: which aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by the year 2030. It also commits to universal access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food at all times of the year. This was said today by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Director General Mr. Zachary Mwangi, who read a speech on behalf of Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary, Hon Mwangi Kiunjuri, during the official opening of the Ministerial Conference on Open Data and Nutrition and the 4th Agritec Africa International Exhibition, at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, KICC.

Mr. Mwangi said the 2030 Agenda recognizes the need to use data for decision making underscoring the importance of quality, accessible, timely and reliable disaggregated data to help with the measurement of progress and to ensure no one is left behind.

He said that member States have recognized the crucial role of increased support for strengthening data collection and capacity building, and committed to addressing the data gaps for the targets of the 2030 Agenda. These data gaps are especially pronounced in Agriculture, as a majority of our countries in the developing world have not carried out Agricultural Census in the last ten years, suffer from low investments in agricultural statistics and capacity. This is further compounded by lack of coordination within national data ecosystems.

He noted that Agricultural and Rural Statistics (ARS) are not integrated into the National Statistical System (NSS), in most countries. “Data produced by different ministries, departments and agencies and in some cases decentralized systems is difficult to coordinate since they lack standards and are of poor quality. There is duplication of work and conflicting data as a result, dis-incentivizing policy makers who need data to make decisions”.

The Director General however said that the adoption of the Global Strategy (GS) for improving Agricultural and Rural Statistics in 2010 will help address the decline in quantity and quality of agricultural statistics in many countries across the world. He also added that the adoption of the Action Plan for Africa on the Global Strategy has encouraged many developing countries to come up with Strategic Plans for Agriculture and Rural Statistics (SPARS) which are to be integrated into the respective National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS).

Mr Mwangi concluded by saying, “Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) is one of those partnerships that truly reflects this multi-stakeholder ecosystem in support of developing countries”.