88. Two papers were presented to the Commission under this agenda item. Document APCAS/02/6, Report on Japan/FAO Cooperative Projects "Improvement of Agriculture Statistics in Asia and Pacific Countries" and "Strengthening Regional Data Exchange System on Food and Agricultural Statistics in Asia and Pacific Countries" was presented by Mr Kimihiko Eura. He asked the Commission to note that Japan, as the donor of the Japan/FAO co-operative project, was very appreciative of FAO's role in the implementation of the projects. The first phase project was successfully completed as a result of positive participation of member countries and assistance of the Regional Office of FAO.
89. The Commission was reminded that improvement of statistics in the entire region was indispensable for promotion of regional agricultural policies, including food security, although it might be noted that agricultural statistical systems were at various stages of development in different countries. In the first phase project, the state of agricultural statistics systems in participating countries was clarified through the organization of seminars and workshops.
90. The Commission was informed that the aim of the second phase project was to promote the sharing of statistics and information among the countries in the entire region, ensuring that such data and information were comparable and supportive of policy formulation. The project was expected to contribute significantly to the strengthening of food security and development of agriculture in this region.
91. In this context, participating countries and the Regional Office of FAO were asked to consider implementing the Work Plan, which was approved in the first focal point meeting in August 2002, including the setting up of the Regional Data Exchange System (RDES) on food and agricultural statistics in Asia and Pacific Countries.
92. The Commission was informed of another Japanese funded project, the ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS), which would commence in early 2003. The Commission was advised that technical assistance for this project would be sought from FAO.
93. The Commission had before it the document APCAS/02/7, "Improvement of Agricultural Statistics in Indonesia with Special Reference to Paddy". In response to its request during the 18th Session, the Commission was informed of the activities and recommendations of "The Agricultural Statistics Technology Improvement and Training (ASTIT) Project" that was implemented from 1994 to 2001 by the Government of Indonesia and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to improve statistical methodology and strengthen institutional capabilities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Central Bureau of Statistics of Indonesia. In the second phase of the project (1998-2001), it aimed to establish a reliable paddy production survey system for Indonesia.
94. The Commission learned about the main characteristics of the second phase of the project. First, the project was large-scale, as it covered the whole island of Java where 60 percent of the country's paddy was produced. Secondly, it drew the participation of a number of national agencies and local government units that coordinated and collaborated with each other to ensure smooth implementation of the project. Thirdly, it involved a large number of people. As many as two thousand personnel participated in project activities. Lastly, the project needed to introduce a campaign for a work management system that would alter the traditional ideas, attitudes and behavior that posed hindrances to statistical work.
95. Findings based on analysis of survey results had been formulated. In addition, recommendations for future action were also presented. The JICA-ASTIT team advised that the "National Implementation Plan on Rice Production Statistics" be carried out faithfully according to the work schedule agreed upon by collaborating institutions. The team also recommended that the paddy production survey design be improved with special attention given to increasing the accuracy and precision of estimates of paddy area and yield; survey results showed significant improvements in both aspects. Finally, the team emphasized the importance of having statistical personnel acquire a sense of responsibility and professional pride in their work. In this respect, the propagation of the 3T attitudes, i.e. (a) "Tanggung Jawab" or responsibility, (b)"Tepat Waktu" or punctuality and (c) "Teliti" or checking, would go a long way to ensure that the data collected by statistical personnel were objective, transparent and reliable.