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Agri-census progresses, despite hiccups

The nationwide 2014 Agriculture Census progressed into its second phase of the communal sector survey despite some hiccups experienced in the first phase, the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) said this week.
The communal sector survey which is divided into two phases, saw the first phase which included the listings of house holds, interviews and demarcations of sub plots recently conclude in all 14 regions.
Currently the number of agricultural house holds interviewed were 10,250 while an estimated 3,109 plots were demarcated for the crops cutting experiment. The work force at this stage included 96 supervisors and 384 enumerators and also 110 vehicles.
Deputy Director for Strategic Communication, Namibia Statistics Agency Sakaria Ipumbu, on behalf of Statistician General Dr John Steyler said, “Such a huge undertaking obviously comes with many challenges as well.”

“Our fieldworkers have been exposed to thick forests, snakes, long walking distances, high risk areas, harassment, cars getting stuck in mud and water, as well as often travelling long distances in rough terrains,”he added.
He then explained that despite the challenges encountered the information would not necessarily be biased even though some of those interviewed did not cooperate and respond accordingly.
Namibia Statistics Agency’s Ndamona Kali, Director of Economic Statistics said that the response rate was over 90% and it was good enough to base their policy on before even the census was done.
Meanwhile second phase of the communal sector survey, which collects the yield estimation, is under way and is estimated to continue until the end of June.
“During this period, we will continue to work with 96 supervisors and a reduced staff of 192 enumerators,”said Ipumbu.
“Through out this phase, teams will visit farms that have demarcated sub plots and harvest the crops which will then be used to calculate the yield. We have already urged farmers not to touch the sub plots until the NSA official return for crop cutting, and would like to repeat it here again,” he added.
Ipumbu pointed out that some of the regions like the Karas, Erongo, Hardap and Khomas would not be a focus for the second phase due to their insignificant amount of crops.
On the other hand the third phase which is the commercial sector survey is set to start only on the 4th of August and will be conducted through a mail questionnaire.
The results for the communal agriculture census are expected in September while those for the commercial sector will be produced in December.

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