Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) on Wednesday launched its website (www.mofa.gov.gh) in Accra, to serve as a reference source for critical agricultural data and information in Ghana.
“Students, researchers and the general public will find this website useful through the varying nature of information presented on the MoFA website”, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture, said at the launch and added that he intended to make the site the number one Government of Ghana owned website .
He explained that the website, which had been running for some time now, came about as a result of MoFA’s mission to promote sustainable agriculture and thriving agribusiness through research and technology development, effective extension and other support service to farmers, processors and traders for improved livelihoods as well as to help achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
Mr Ahwoi said because internet usage in Africa was growing at a fast pace with a June 2011 penetration of 11.5 per cent and a global usage of 30.5 per cent, there was the need for such a website so that policy makers, traders, farmers, fishermen, businessmen and women and many professionals could rely on the site in planning and decision making.
He said the various directorates under the Ministry conducted surveys on market price trends in the various marketing centres while other areas concerning food production were also researched upon but all such reports were kept in the office and made available to the public on request basis, and the was the need to put such information on the website for all to access.
Mr Ahwoi noted that though the site was quite new, it had been ranked very high and had seen tremendous improvement in performance and.
He said that an Alexa World Ranking Statistics showed that there had been +2100 per cent improvement in the website visitor access.
“MoFA.gov.gh has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 232,484 and the time spent in a typical visit to the site is about 38 minutes, with 48 seconds spent on each page viewed,” the Minister said.
Mr Ahwoi said the 500 most popular website in Ghana, according to the Alexa statistics showed only a few Ghanaians owned websites with that of the Ministry ranking the 70th..
He noted that on the global scale out of the more than 200,000,000 websites currently online, MoFA’s ranking had moved from 3,860,229 as at July 2011 to 232,482 as at December 20, 2011.
Mr Ahwoi entreated the public relation officers and the departmental heads of MMDAs to enhance their website to provide critical mass of information and data for MoFA’s publics.
Mr Kwabena Akoto, ICT Consultant, who presented the features of the website, said it contained the programmes, policies, projects, publications, information of development partners, media centre as well as pictures of all past heads of the Ministry from 1956 to date.
It also has information and videos of activities of the Ministry, including farmers day celebrations, pictures and information on various farmers award winners, heads of the departments under the Ministry among other information.
Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, commanded MoFA for that feat and urged Ghanaians to make good use of the site by accessing its information for their various purposes.
Dr Tony Aidoo, Head of Policy and Evaluation Unit of Government, said information on the website was very impressive and advised that information or a page on agricultural extension services should be added to the site to educate the public on simple method s of farming like fish farming. GNA