Agriculture Census to provide detailed statistics
The project is funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with a grant of N$4.3million to supplement government in carrying out the census, which will count crop production, cattle as well as small stock at different farms across the country. The funds received will be used for services of experts, training and procurement of equipment to successfully carry out the census.
Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) Statistician General, Dr. John Steytler has assured the public that information obtained from farmers will be confidential. “We guarantee that we will not disclose personal information of the farmer’s activities. This census is very important so we therefore call on the full participation and cooperation of the public,” Steytler highlighted.
Steytler stated that it is a fact that Agriculture plays a crucial role in the life of the Namibian economy because it does not only provide food and raw materials to industries but also employment opportunities to a very large proportion of the population. “In Fact, according to the latest labour force survey, this sector still provides the majority of employment opportunities to our citizens,” Steytleradded that the census will provide vital information that will enable stakeholders to fully understand what is happening in the agricultural sector and provide smart techniques used for food security. He expressed his gratitude to FAO for the significant support and stated that in its mandate of providing timely and reliable data for evidence based decision making, the Namibia Statistics Agency is committed to ensure a successful outcome of the agriculture census project, saying that information from the census will be detailed as the data captured will be analysed using the latest technology.
In his statement, Admir Bay, FAO country representative indicated that the main task of the census is capacity building and to ensure this, the FAO will provide best practices to the census and is ready to extend technical expertise. In this regard, two FAO experts, Nancy Chin and Eloi Ouedmaogo are currently in the country to start the implementation process and provide technical expertise.
The last agricultural Census was conducted more than 10 years ago in 1994 to 1995 where FAO also played a pivotal role by providing technical expertise with valuable advice on data collection methods and designing of the questionnaires, manual and other survey instruments.
Director of Economics Statistics, Ndamona Kali who is also Project Manager of the Agriculture Census said that a pilot survey was conducted and completed between February and March this year. The survey comprised of 12 staff from both the Namibia Statistics Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. She said although the census contains many stages ranging from ploughing to harvesting season, the actual census time is scheduled to start from February and March 2014 and data will be completed within six months thereof. Kali stressed that in order to avoid translation problems, enumerators that will be employed to take part in the census will possibly be from the surrounding areas that will form part of the census.