This is partly because governments often only look at official agricultural production statistics: according to these, agriculture contributes a mere 4-6% of GDP. However, when the whole value chain is taken into account, agricultures share rises significantly to 25% or more.
Creating awareness and sensitising governments and the wider public to the value of agriculture are vital tasks, and the media have a crucial role to play in this. It was for this reason that we devoted our 2009 Annual Seminar to The Role of the Media inAgricultural and Rural Development in ACP Countries.
Agricultural and Rural Development in ACP Countries This year we also finalised our internal restructuring process, reducing the number of operational departments from four to three and recruiting new expertise in Marketing, Information and Communication Technologies, Publishing and Media.
To date, we have examined the impact of our products and services in 13 ACP countries, to understand how users perceive them. This has enabled us to improve the quality of our products and services and to reset budget priorities according to demand.
Through these missions on the ground in ACP countries, we have identified the most strategic partners for CTA, allowing us to better target our information and knowledge products and services.
Introducing a more market-oriented approach has enabled us to widen our outreach. This has been achieved through an increase in the print run for publications such as Spore, and a major book donation programme to equip libraries, information centres and extension services with up-to-date, must-read publications on agriculture.
I am very happy that CTAs Internship and Young Professional Officers programmes have refreshed CTA and are bearing fruit. I remain optimistic that all our achievements and improved efficiency will convince our Supervisory Authorities to boost their support and enable CTA to respond to the steadily increasing demand for information and communication products.
Let me thank you for your continued interest in CTAs work and wish you all the best for 2010