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Statistics important for decision making

Lack of proper agricultural statistics has been blamed for perennial food shortages in the counties.
Farming being a devolved function, governors have been advised to develop data storage systems and research centers in order to plan effectively.
The chairman of the South Rift Farmers’ Association (SRFA) Justus Monda urged counties to embrace the key role played by economic statistics in underpinning development that leads to sustainable growth and improved standards of living.
Monda said although the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics is the principal agency for official statistics, very few counties and institutions access that information to guide them in decision making.
Speaking during a press conference in Nakuru town on Monday, the chairman noted that majority of farmers in the counties do not have good agricultural records a fact which makes planning difficult.
“There are no statistics on the exact number of farmers growing a certain crop at a specific period and that makes it almost impossible for the counties to determine whether they are food secure or the exact profits made by the farmers,’’ he stated.
Monda said the improvement of agricultural statistics has the capacity for boosting production and marketing of produce, while farm input suppliers can use the data to reach farmers in real-time, once they get the location and the number involved in the production of a certain crop.
The chairman added that statistics could also be provided on the date of planting, expected date of harvest and the estimated production.
He wondered how the counties expect to export avocadoes to China without such documented data. A number of counties are currently in an avocado planting frenzy since they have been promised a huge market.
Monda said that statistics has the capacity of enhancing marketing since buyers can get the trends and monitor the planting and harvesting seasons.
By Veronica Bosibori

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