The Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics (Global Strategy) arose from a recognition that the quantity and quality of agricultural and rural data coming from national official sources has been on a steady decline since the 1980s. This decline comes at a time of increasing demand for new statistics and the need to integrate data on agriculture, fisheries and forestry to understand their effects on the environment and climate change to deal effectively with policy issues relating to sustainability of agricultural practices The Global Strategy provides a framework to enable national and international statistical systems to produce the basic information on economic, social and environmental aspects needed to guide decision-making in the twenty-first century.
The ultimate goal of the Global Strategy is to contribute to greater food security, reduced food price volatility and improved income and well-being for rural populations through evidence-based decision making.
To support implementation of the Global Strategy in the Asia Pacific region, a Regional Action Plan (RAP) was developed by a collaborative effort of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in consultation with member countries in late 2012. The RAP, as endorsed by both APCAS and ESCAP Committee on Statistics, outlines a conceptual framework to integrate agricultural and rural statistical systems through a variety of technical assistance, training, and research activities.
The technical assistance to countries under the Global Strategy begins with an assessment of the national capacity to produce agricultural and rural statistics. The in-depth assessment in the selected country will be carried out following a standard framework of capacity, developed by FAO through a global consultation process, involving all the stakeholders. The countries will be supported to develop a Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics which will be the basis for further technical assistance and training. The training component of RAP, implemented by the Statistical Institute for Asia & the Pacific (SIAP), supports building capacity of manpower engaged in agricultural statistics. The Asian Development Bank is leading the research to develop appropriate methodologies which may be suitable in different local conditions.
The work is well advanced in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Samoa and Sri Lanka, and has started in Fiji and Lao PDR. Work in Myanmar will start later in 2014 while work in Georgia will start early in 2015