The TWG meeting
for the collection and validation of national food and agricultural statistics
was held in Morogoro from 26th to 28th February 2013. The
objective of the meeting was to redress the challenges of data collection,
standardization and harmonisation of national food and agricultural statistics
for uploading in the CountrySTAT database.
The team critically reviewed the discrepancies and anomalies of data
that were previously uploaded in CountrySTAT website. The
evaluation report for Tanzania of January 2013 was used to guide the TWG team
discussion, review process and agree on way forward.
Speaking at the
meeting the National CountrySTAT Coordinator Ms. Joyce Urasa said the TWG
members have been drawn from the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and
Cooperatives, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Ministry of
Industry and Trade, Ministry of Water, National Bureau of Statistics, Office of
the Chief Government Statistics – Zanzibar, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural
Resources-Zanzibar and Tanzania Revenue Authority.
Tanzania started in 2008 followed by official launching in 2010 with financial
support of FAO. When asked to comment on the achievements of CountrySTAT
Tanzania Ms. Urasa said “comparing from where we started, things are better of
now as there are more people visiting the countrySTAT website. The increasing
number of visitors is an indication that the database contains useful
information. And actually that is what we intend the website should be providing
to our stakeholders”.
When asked on
the challenges faced Ms. Urasa had this to say “CountrySTAT is a living
database which has to have current data. There is no one time when we can just
sit and relax that we have done it all, but need continued commitment of all
TWG members to collect and upload current data to address the needs of our
specialist of CountrySTAT Tanzania Mr. Faraja Komba has been working with the
system since 2009. On the use of the database, he said “progressively people
are increasingly becoming aware and are using the countrySTAT and provide
feedback on specific data”. Similar
views were given by Ms. Beatrice Rwegoshora who is also an IT specialist. Ms. Rwegoshora
further commended countrySTAT system especially the current Fenix platform that
its fast to access data and user-friendly.
Nyanda, the Head of Statistics Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security
and Cooperatives and member of ContrySTAT Secretariat feels that countrySTAT is
an important tool for dissemination of agricultural statistics to
stakeholders. Mr. Malemi further said
that efforts are being made to ensure that all relevant agricultural data are
collected and are uploaded in the countrySTAT platform where stakeholders can
access the data.
Most TWG members
felt that there is need for creating more public awareness on countrySTAT.
Policy and decision makers need to be well informed so that resources can be
made available to support data collection. This has to go hand in hand with commitment of
all TWG members and have more time allocated to work with the countrySTAT data.
Experiences show that most TWG members have little time to work on countrySTAT data
when they go back to their offices due to other office duties. As such, more
time or frequency of the TWG meetings should be
TWG members familiarizing with the new Fenix platform
of CountrySTAT during a recent meeting in Morogoro
considered in future.
CountrySTAT is a
web-based information technology system for food and agriculture statistics at
the regional, national and sub national levels. It provides decision-makers
with a one stop centre for easy access to statistics across thematic areas such
as production, prices, trade and consumption. The information available can
support data analysis, informed policy-making and monitoring with the goal of
eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. CountrySTAT has been developed using
cutting-edge open-source technology and is part of the FAOSTAT family, and
therefore benefitting from the same technology implemented recently for the new
FAOSTAT system, which is known as the FENIX platform. This platform offers
users an internet-based and scalable system that provides functionalities to
users and other web-applications.
currently operational in 22 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (Angola, Benin,
Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana,
Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Ouganda,
Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia), and 2 Regional Organizations
(UEMOA - Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine and EAC - East African
Community). The system is also
implemented in Asia in Bhutan and the Philippines. Recently new projects were started for the Economic
Cooperation Organization (ECO) with a CountrySTAT pilot in Afghanistan.
Melinda Gates Foundation (through FAO) financed the implementation of
CountrySTAT in 17 Sub- Saharan countries of Africa in 2007. The project has
since then attracted numerous partners, including Union économique et monétaire
ouest-africaine (UEMOA), East African Community (EAC), Cooperazione Italiana,
WFP, MAFAP, Africa Fertilizers, Africa Livestock, SADC, ECO and CEMAC.
For further information please visit www.countrystat.org/ ; or contact
Ms. Joyce Urasa, National CountrySTAT Coordinator; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; cell: +255 754 360 258 or Mr. Richard Kasuga, Communication Focal
Point, email: Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; cell: +255 769 239946