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FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Samoa

Implementation of the Global Strategy in Samoa

37% employed in agriculture

12.4% land area devoted to agriculture

10% share of agriculture in GDP

Challenges

A Pacific island nation made up of the two main islands of Upolu and Savai'I, Samoa has little of its mountainous land area devoted to agriculture, but close to 40% of its population employed in the sector. Though the government has a statistics agency, the Samoa Bureau of Statistics, a lack of available professional and technical support staff is putting constraints on its operations. The once per decade agriculture census, in addition to other related surveys, depends on external financial assistance.

The current scheduling of the agriculture census only once every ten years is also considered insufficient to meet the needs of government ministries and other organizations.  This has resulted in data gaps and inconsistencies in a number of areas, including crops, livestock, fisheries, water and the environment.  Technical survey skills are also a constraint, with a need for more training in gathering and using good data.  Information on the use and value of good statistics also needs to be demonstrated to a wider range of decision and policy makers.     

Current Work

The Global Strategy in Asia Pacific has proposed meeting agricultural and rural statistics needs in Samoa through the following actions, some of which have been completed.

· Develop a Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS), to be incorporated into the Samoa Agricultural Sector Plan

· Support planning and analysis for the 2015 Agricultural Survey

· Develop a questionnaire and sample selection methodology for the 2015 Agricultural Survey

· Develop an agricultural module survey tool for other national surveys

·  Evaluate the potential of an agricultural module approach for use in other national surveys

· Further develop the skills and knowledge of the Samoa Bureau of Statistics and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in agricultural statistics and survey activities

Achievements

Four missions and three workshops in Samoa have resulted in three key reports, including an In-depth Country Assessment (IdCA), a country proposal for short-term technical assistance and training, and a roadmap for a SPARS. Five short-term activities identified in the country proposal and under Current Country Work above have been completed or are ongoing.  Capacity building for the Samoa Bureau of Statistics and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is also underway and ongoing.