By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member

The lack of data and information on crop productivity and prices, and the poor quality of the data that does exist, has been a recurrent theme throughout the conference and was stressed as key to the future on this final day.Photo: Mamadou Goita takes part in the press conference / Julia Day

Challenges to improving the quality and reach of data and information through the support of universities, research centres and statistical services was emphasised. The importance of efficient and more cost-effective systems for data-gathering and market intelligence were discussed, including the use of text, cell phone and internet systems in rural areas.

Data on household income, production prices and broader patterns of public expenditure were seen as priorities. Such data-gathering and analysis will allow the tracking of progress, the assessment of impacts as well as the modelling of future options as the Green Revolution in Africa unfolds.

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