By Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
As part of the measures to know the exact data of agricultural yields in Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in collaboration with the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) , will embark on the national agricultural sample census every year.
Speaking at the National Agricultural Census Sample Stakeholder Sensitization Workshop in Keffi, Nasarawa State, Director of Demography and Household Statistics Department, NBS, Mr. Adeyemi Adeniran, said the exercise was essential and would involve listing all agricultural activities in the country, including crop production, fishing, forestry and livestock activities.
According to him, traditionally, the agricultural census is supposed to be carried out every five to ten years in accordance with the standards of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
However, the last round of the census was carried out in 1993/94, hence the crucial need for the census at that time. Although several attempts have been made since then to carry out the census, it has never been fully carried out.
It is therefore imperative that the exercise be carried out this year.
“The census is a complete enumeration of all agricultural activities in the country. This enumeration includes both smallholder farmers and large farms. Smallholder or subsistence farmers will be approached through households, while corporate farms will be through our framework for conducting establishment surveys. The implementation of the exercise will be done in two phases, the first being the registration phase and the second being the sample survey phase. During the first phase, interviewers will visit selected farms and agricultural households to collect information. The scope of information to be collected in this phase includes farmer demographic details, type of agricultural activity (crop production, fishing, poultry, or livestock), product or product type (e.g. rice, maize, sorghum , chicken , or cow), and contact details.
“In the second phase, a sample of farms listed in the first phase will be taken and more detailed information collected. In addition to the information collected in the first phase, data such as farm size, cultivated area, total yield, type of farming practices, inputs, challenges, among others, will be collected.
“The methodology to be adopted in conducting this exercise is advanced. For the first time in Nigeria, the entire process will be done digitally. The NBS has already planned with the National Population Commission (NPC) to secure the newly demarcated digital count maps of the entire country. These newly cut maps will serve as the basis for segmenting the areas we intend to visit for this mission. With these new digital maps which will be complemented by satellite images, the process of identifying agricultural areas and communities will be much easier, making the segmentation process more efficient and cost effective. Electronic devices will be deployed for data collection and field measurements in the field. Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) devices will be deployed for interviewing respondents, while GPS mapping devices will be used for measuring plot areas. For field staff, a strong training program has been put in place to equip them for the census. There will be two levels of training, one at the headquarters in Abuja for the trainers, and another in the States, for the investigators, each lasting five days. There will also be data editors and data assistants working remotely at headquarters. Their role will be to verify information coming from the field in real time and provide immediate feedback to field staff if necessary.
“As is standard practice in any NBS data collection exercise, adequate physical surveillance and spot checks will be carried out by senior officers in the office. This will ensure that surveyors follow established protocols for data collection and also aims to help field staff with any logistical or operational issues. All of these measures will go a long way to preserving the quality and integrity of this exercise.
Following this sensitization event today, another sensitization session will be organized for stakeholders in the southern part of the country next week, after which the training of trainers for the census will begin. A pre-testing exercise and a pilot project have already been carried out, with the results of both activities used to strengthen the design and logistical arrangements of the census,” he said.
Earlier, the chairman of the bureau’s board, Dr. Kabiru Nakaura, highlighted the need for data in the agricultural sector, saying that without adequate information on the activities of the sector, Nigerians would not know the amount of food they are consuming at any given time. given time. ENDS