NSA and FAO ink agreement to develop strategic plan for agriculture and rural statistics
The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization last week on Friday signed an agreement that will see the two parties develop a Strategic Plan for Agriculture and Rural Statistics (SPARS) and a Census of Agriculture Project document.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, NSA Secretary-General, Alex Shimuafeni said, this document is vital as it will pave the way for the implementation of different agriculture statistical undertakings that are needed for the country’s developmental goals.
“To enable Namibia to meet the growing demand for the high quality of close to real-time and accessible statistics, there is a need to develop statistical strategies that will aid the planning and implementation tools,” he said.
These demands require the NSA to develop efficient and new ways of collecting data that include but are not limited to administrative data sources, satellite imagery, and big data, Shimuafeni said adding that there are gaps in agriculture data, while other data are scattered across different agricultural stakeholders.
Shimuafeni said, agricultural statistics are under-resourced, and resources need to increase further adding that statistical stakeholders in the system need to be coordinated in a manner to obtain statistical efficiency.
“The statistical coordination function is in the jurisdiction of the NSA as per the Statistics Act. This coordination can only be realized by the SPARS strategy that will incorporate all Namibia Agriculture Statistical System which is composed of users and producers of agricultural statistics,” he said.
According to Shimuafeni, SPARS will guide sectoral implementation and pave a robust agricultural and rural statistics production as well as foster the sustainability of the National Statistical System, through governance and statistical capacity building of the country.