Monrovia, Liberia – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has started a 10-day technical mission to Liberia to collaborate with a technical working group made up of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), the Ministry of Agriculture, and other relevant stakeholders who manage agricultural data in Liberia.
The mission, which will prioritize the start of the Liberia Strategic Plans for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS) development process, is in response to Liberia’s request for technical support from FAO for the development of the country’s National Strategic Plan intended to improve agricultural and rural statistics in Liberia.
The technical working sessions are a component of the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics’ second phase (GSARS-II), with the goal of incorporating agriculture into Liberia’s national statistical system in order to ensure data comparability and coherence at the national level.
When it comes to data planning on agriculture and other rural projects, the GSARS-II offers assistance in the development of a strategic plan for the development of agricultural and rural statistics that may be used as a framework for reference.
It will ensure the construction of a coordinated system of agricultural statistics that would primarily address the current national information gaps by implementing such a strategic national plan into the National Statistical System.
The mission’s activities include three days of meetings with the technical working group and other stakeholders to discuss the pragmatic approach to developing the strategy for the development of agriculture and rural statistics and to prepare a roadmap document; a two-day meeting to validate the roadmap by national authorities and to present the roadmap to the public as the first stage of the strategic plan process in Liberia; and a coordination meeting to prepare the assessment phase.
FAO’s National Project Coordinator and Partnership Specialist, Emmanuel Kapee, spoke at the opening ceremony on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, at Project Implementation Unit of the Agriculture Ministry in Gardnerville. Kapee did so on behalf of FAO Representative ad interim, Bintia Stephen-Tchicaya, and stressed the critical importance of data in making informed policy decisions, particularly as it relates to food and agriculture in relation to strengthening food systems and food security.
He declared that FAO is prepared to collaborate with the Liberian government and people to further the GSAR projects.
Jlopleh Wiagbe, the Officer in Charge of the Planning Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, also addressed the audience on behalf of the Agriculture Ministry and urged the participants to give it their all as they collaborated with the FAO international expert supporting Liberia to create the national agriculture and rural statistics road map document.
”The LISGIS DG proxy stated that “the national strategy for the development of statistics, with the exception of the agriculture sector, where various documents show that over 60-70 percent of the population finds their livelihood, has been making tremendous progress.”
Wiagbe noted that the head of the various organizations that sent personnel to the technical training, will support the technicians on the front lines as they work to create the road map that will lay the foundation for the growth of Liberia’s agricultural and rural statistics. He added that the Agriculture Ministry will continue to engage all of the stakeholders.
As a long-term, coordinated effort to remedy the deterioration of many developing nations’ agricultural statistical systems, the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics (GSARS) was created in 2009.
With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Commission, PARIS21, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and FAO collaborate to carry out the initiative’s operations.
Reported by: Augustine Octavius