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Development partners pledge to support the Agricultural Statistical System in Tanzania

Tanzania has been one of the first countries to develop an Agriculture Statistics Strategic Plan (ASSP). Dialogue with stakeholders started in 2012 and the plan was developed in a participatory manner in 2013-14 with the support of FAO and USDA/NASS. Members of the National Team,  drawn from Agriculture Sector Lead Ministries,  worked together on the development of the plan.

The ASSP supports evidence-based policy making by defining the data needs required for national development initiatives. It  sets the key priorities to produce sustainable agricultural statistics and provides a road map for developing the Agriculture Statistics System over a timeframe of five years (2014/15 – 2018/19).

The ASSP played a key role in integrating and catalyzing initiatives with common objectives. It included a five-year budget, against which the Government of Tanzania could commit ca. 10% of the funds needed for 2015/16. Dialogue with development partners started prior to the approval of the Plan by the Government.

The National Bureau of Statistics, which is responsible for statistical coordination, implemented an outline of activities in the ASSP. This effort was carried out in collaboration with Agriculture Sector Lead Ministries and Development Partners led by FAO.  Partners (EU, WB) pledged to support the 2016 Census of Agriculture, develop an Annual Agricultural Sample Survey (USDA/NASS five-year-project), support the improvement of administrative data in the Agricultural Routine Data System (new 3-year JICA project), improve crop forecasting estimates (FAO) and finally, improve district level data necessary for decentralised policy planning (Irish Aid, FAO and soon the Swiss Cooperation). Domestic and external funds cover over half of the budget.

Carola Fabi, TA- Training Coordinator, Global Strategy
Titus Mwisomba, National Bureau of Statistics, Tanzania


Capacity Building through Research in Indonesia

On 16-20 November the Global Office (GO) of the Global Strategy in collaboration with the  Badan Pusat Statistik (NSO-Indonesia), kicked off the first field testing of cost-effective methodologies for estimating crop area and yield under mixed and continuous cropping. Data collection will take place in the districts of Gunung Kidul and Cianjur, covering approximately 200 households in each district.

The methods included in the field tests incorporate innovations in apportioning crop areas across different mixtures of staple crops. They also include testing statistical relationships between expensive (objective) and more cost-effective (subjective) methods to reduce sample size, and analyzing the differences between using the latest Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) technology and tablet area measurement, and traditional methods such as Paper Assisted Personal Interview (PAPI) and farmer inquiry. 
Thanks to the close collaboration with BPS, the GO and its research partner, the Indian Agricultural Statistical Research Institute (IASRI), have provided training on use of CAPI technologies and other methods described in the study on measurement of crop area and yield. Badan Pusat Statistik is leveraging the field test to increase their capacity to implement CAPI surveys and improve their methods for estimating crop production under mixed cropping. A further innovation is the collection of geo-spatial information in listing  by using the CAPI software to optimize logistics during the data collection process (see image below).

Similar tests will be conducted in Rwanda and Jamaica starting in January 2016. The results will be synthesized in a final Handbook on Measuring Crop Area and Yield Under Mixed and Continuous Cropping.    

Michael Rahija, Research Officer, Global Strategy


Global Strategy launches in Pakistan with national inception workshop

Pakistan officially launched its commitment to the development of a Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS) by hosting a two-day workshop in Islamabad on 4-5 November.  The workshop was attended by a wide spectrum of government representatives and local, national and provincial stakeholders including the Global Strategy to improve agricultural and rural statistics (GSARS) Coordinator Christophe Duhamel and Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator Allan Nicholls. 
The event was officially opened by Honorable, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research. An overview of GSARS and its importance for Pakistan’s future agricultural development was then provided.  As the country is in the process of developing a National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), integrating a SPARS into the Strategy is ideal, and would produce a sturdy statistical foundation for improving future agriculture policy and activity.
Though Pakistan is already well-placed in some areas for building a strong SPARS, for example, monitoring crops with satellite technology through its Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, it still faces a number of challenges, which the workshop highlighted.  These include collection and dissemination of primary and secondary data traditionally through paper correspondence, rather than electronically, coordination and cooperation of national departments with provincial departments that have a high level of autonomy, and over-reliance on crop production estimates from growers’ subjective opinions, rather than more scientific crop cutting surveys.

It was concluded that despite these challenges, Pakistan is in position to move forward with the next step: an in-depth country assessment, which has since started.  

Allan Nicholls, Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator, Global Strategy

Upcoming Meetings

5th Regional Steering Committee Meeting for Asia-Pacific

9 december 2015, bangkok, thailand


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