Agriculture census on track: Steytler

04 Jun 2014 13:50pm
WINDHOEK, 04 JUN (NAMPA) - The 2014 agriculture census which is currently underway in all 14 regions of Namibia, is progressing well.
The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) Statistician-General, Dr John Steytler at a media conference in Windhoek on Wednesday noted that the exercise is well on track despite various challenges the agency faces during the process.
The NSA’s Deputy Director of Strategy and Communications, Iipumbu Sakaria gave an update on the census on Steytler’s behalf.
“In a nutshell the census on agriculture, which is a nation-wide undertaking that covers both the communal and commercial sectors, is progressing well. Our field workers have been exposed to thick forests, snake encounters, long walking distances, and travelling long distances in rough terrain. You have to overcome great challenges in order to finish your work and we did so,” he noted.
Steytler added that at times, field workers were refused entry to farms, but with the help of regional governors, constituency councillors, the Namibian Police Force and traditional leaders the exercise could go ahead as planned.
The communal sector survey is divided into two phases. The first phase, which included the listing of households, interviews and demarcations of sub-plots, has been completed. As per the census fieldwork, interviews were held all over the country in all 14 regions. The second phase, which collects yield information, is underway and is expected to continue until the end of June 2014. During this period, teams will visit farms that have demarcated sub-plots and harvest the crops which will then be used to calculate the yield.
The second phase will however not be conducted in the //Karas, Erongo, Hardap and Khomas Regions as the areas do not have significant amounts of crops, Steytler said.
The number of agricultural households interviewed is around 10 250, and 3 109 plots were demarcated for the crop cutting experiment. To achieve this, the NSA employed a staff component of 96 supervisors and 384 enumerators. A total of 110 vehicles are being used for the massive exercise.
The results of the communal agriculture census are expected in September 2014, while the results of the commercial sector will be produced in December 2014.
The NSA in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry budgeted about N.dollars 60 million not only to determine, but to also ensure, increased crop and livestock production in all 14 regions of the country.
The first agricultural census was carried out in 1994/95, and covered both the commercial and communal sector of the economy within what was 13 regions at the time. It is expected that with this data collection, Namibia could become independent from food imports and improve her food and economic security.