TEAMWORK: The SADC AIMS platform will positively impact the agricultural sector in the region. PHOTO: REUTERS
TEAMWORK: The SADC AIMS platform will positively impact the agricultural sector in the region. PHOTO: REUTERS

Agri-information platform launched

Staff reporter
Unreliable and unharmonised data in the agricultural sector in Southern Africa has always been a setback for policy-makers, resulting in considerable delays in planning processes for implementation of well-coordinated regional responses to curb threats such as transboundary pests and diseases that negatively impact on productivity and trade in the region.

To mitigate this, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) launched the inaugural SADC Agricultural Information Management System (AIMS), a platform to generate agricultural data for evidence-based decision-making for the region.

The AIMS platform was developed through the project ‘Support Towards Operationalisation of the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy’ (STOSAR), funded by the European Union (EU).

“The SADC AIMS is an integrated and multilingual system providing policy-makers with access to reliable and timely data on which to base policies, resource allocations, and emergency interventions. This web-based application will provide SADC member states with standardised instruments necessary to produce and disseminate comparable statistical information to inform SADC policies,” said Patrice Talla, FAO subregional coordinator for Southern Africa.

Regional teamwork

The SADC AIMS platform is a web-based application with 12 modules for collecting, storing and analysing agricultural information. Thirty-two computers were also procured for the 16 SADC countries to ensure they had the infrastructure for setting up a functional AIMS system at national level.

“The regional approach adopted by this project helps to standardise procedures for information management and sharing, communication on food security, and to rationalise decision-making on the management of food production,” said Tebogo Matlhare, the EU programme officer.

Backbone

The AIMS platform provides the information needed for tracking progress made towards the attainment of the food and nutrition security goals and commitments stipulated in key development policies.

“Sound agricultural policies that are data-driven are the backbone of a thriving agricultural sector,” said Domingos Gove, the SADC food, agriculture and natural resources (FANR) director.

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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