The Commonwealth Secretariat, in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, this week convened a multi-stakeholder dialogue to explore the development of a national approach to agricultural data infrastructure in Ghana. The dialogue brought together government, academia, research institutions, the private sector, and civil society representatives to discuss the challenges and opportunities of harnessing data to transform the country’s agricultural sector.

In his opening remarks, Paulo Kautoke, Senior Director of Trade, Oceans, and Natural Resources Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat, highlighted the importance of digitalisation in enhancing agricultural productivity and resilience in the face of climate change.

“The long-standing spirit of cooperation in the Commonwealth positions the Secretariat to play a crucial role in supporting Commonwealth member countries in harnessing the power of data for future digital sovereignty for their citizens and businesses. The Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment (CCA) is committed to fostering a collaborative environment to elevate Commonwealth trade and investment to US$2 trillion by 2030, with digital agriculture and fisheries as a key focus area,” he said.

The dialogue featured presentations from experts on agricultural data management, digital technologies, and policy development. Participants also engaged in breakout sessions to discuss specific issues such as data privacy, data sharing, and the role of the private sector in agricultural data infrastructure development.

The dialogue concluded with a call to action for the Ghanaian government and stakeholders to work together to develop a comprehensive national approach to agricultural data infrastructure. This approach should be based on the principles of inclusivity, transparency, and sustainability, and should aim to create a data ecosystem that benefits all Ghanaians.

Key takeaways from the dialogue include:

  • Agricultural data is a valuable national asset that can be used to improve agricultural productivity, resilience, and trade.
  • A well-structured digital public infrastructure for data can provide a number of benefits, including cost-effective data collection, enhanced agricultural data quality, and improved policy decisions.
  • The development of a national approach to agricultural data infrastructure requires collaboration between government, academia, research institutions, the private sector, and civil society.
  • The Ghanaian government should play a leadership role in developing and implementing a national approach to agricultural data infrastructure.

The Commonwealth Secretariat is committed to supporting its member countries in harnessing the power of data to transform their agricultural sectors. The Secretariat will continue to provide technical assistance and capacity building to Ghana and other Commonwealth countries as they develop their national approaches to agricultural data infrastructure.

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