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Agric Census back on track

The 2014 Agriculture Census which had appeared to be in doubt through lack of funding will take place this February, the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) said this week.
The census, initially scheduled for January, was in doubt following revelations that government had not made available funds for the project, however project leader Ndamona Kali told the Economist, Wednesday that the NSA had managed to secure funding from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry at the beginning of January.
The agriculture census will cost an estimated N$50 million. Kali said the agriculture ministry had committed N$12 million towards the project while the rest of the funding will come from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the African Development Bank and from the agency’s own coffers.

Around 500 enumerators are currently undergoing training to take part in the census that will start on 17 February until December 2014.
Kali said the 2014 Agriculture census will be conducted in three phases. The first two phases will look at activities that fall under communal farming, and will run until June while the third phase which will start in August will focus on activities in the commercial agriculture sector. The first two phases will involve face to face questionnaires while the last phase will be conducted electronically.
According to the NSA Senior Communications Specialist Meke Ushona a two week training of trainers which started on Monday 13 January in Windhoek ended on Friday 24 January while training of the 500 enumerators started on Monday this week. Training of the enumerators is being done in the various regions where they will be based.
In an earlier interview with the Economist, Statistician General Dr John Steytler emphasized the importance of an agriculture census. He said: “We say this sector should be prioritised, but how can we prioritize it if we don’t have information, we don’t know exactly how many herd of cattle we have, we don’t know exactly how much we cultivate, and we don’t know much about productivity in the agriculture sector.”

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