Agriculture plays a central and strategic role in the development of the SADC as it is key to its economic growth. Monitoring the performance of the sector is highly dependent on a consistent and reliable data reporting mechanism easily accessible to stakeholders.
The development of the SADC Agricultural Information Management System (AIMS), is the result of a partnership between FAO, the SADC Secretariat and its 16 Member States, and funding support from the EU. The AIMS is an integrated and multilingual system providing decision makers with access to reliable and timely data on which to base policies, resource allocations, and emergency interventions. In addition, the AIMS provides the information needed for tracking progress made towards attainment of the food and nutrition security goals stipulated in key development policies such as the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP), the Dar-esSalaam Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security, relevant SADC protocols and commitments, and the RAP and Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
The system allows authorized end-users to enter and update agricultural information and statistical data, and to generate analytical tables, country profile reports, graphics and maps over vertical and horizontal comparisons. Since the sources of data are primarily the Member States, the AIMS ultimately seeks to streamline and standardize reporting of relevant agricultural data to meet international reporting obligations. As a source of credible information, the AIMS potentially expands opportunities for regional trade in animals, and plant and animal products and is a progressive step toward improved access to international markets.