Better statistics for better decisions: FAO Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security launch CountrySTAT

CountrySTATOn Thursday, February 13th, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security teamed up with the Food and Agriculture Organization to officially launch CountrySTAT in Sierra Leone. CountrySTAT is a web-based system for food and agriculture statistics that provides access to statistics related to agriculture production and nutrition.

The system, made of a standard website, has a working secretariat and a technical committee. The system is very innovative as you can get expert assistance in data collection, formatting and dissemination. There is more than 80 indicators and already 25 country members, Sierra Leone being the latest. It is now easy to obtain reliable and timely data. It aims at providing quality statistics on food and agriculture to decision-makers and to promote evidence based decision making, essential for implementing better policies and investment in agriculture.

“The countrySTAT will make a significant contribution to Sierra Leone’s economy. FAO is committed to the integrated system as it is going to be credible and user friendly” says FAO Representative, Gabriel Rugalema. It includes browsing and analysis of data, advanced iterative data download, cross-domain data search and data exchange through web service.

Hon Mrs Marie Jalloh, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security added that the service can help in resource mobilization and distribution, and in planning for development. For Achim Markmiller, of FAO CountrySTAT, “CountrySTAT improves national and regional policy decisions. It increases transparency and also improves data efficiency, management and availability to the Agriculture Sector”.

CountrySTAT plans to expand its scope in future by including real time and forecast data relevant to agriculture, and will soon make use of mobile technologies and Graphic Information System for data collection and analysis.

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