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FAO presents new methodology for surveying family farms in Tajikistan

The power of statistics to support change cannot be overstated. In Tajikistan, no one knows this better than the State Agency for Statistics.

High-level managers and professional statisticians from the Agency recently completed FAO training on a new methodology for surveying the country’s family farms. The practical training – conducted in Dushanbe last month – introduced the methodology as part of an effort to improve the availability of agriculture data for monitoring agrarian reforms.

The course was provided as part of a broader European Union-funded project to strengthen the country’s ability to formulate policy for the agriculture sector.

Mamouka Nadaraeshvili, FAO International Statistics Expert, introduced participants to the new methodology.

“The family farms sampling methodology was developed by the Agency with FAO support in 2012,” Nadaraeshvili said, “but because of rapid growth in the number of family farms, it was difficult to implement.

“In 2011, there were 58 464 family farms in Tajikistan. Today, there are more than 140 000. The new methodology will accelerate the process of collecting information and improve the performance of statisticians,” he added.

In the past, literally all family farms were surveyed. Statisticians at district and rayon levels invested enormous time and resources to collect and process data on their activities.

With the new methodology, data are collected monthly from a sampling (about 10 percent) of farms, and annually from all farms. The annual data are used to update a farmer registry and obtain sector-wide data. This approach is more efficient, yet ensures high-quality data.

Computer software and technical support from FAO will enhance the work of statisticians in gathering and processing data and providing aggregated information and reporting tables about farm activities.

Participants in last month’s training will in turn train district-level statisticians. The State Agency for Statistics is planning to conduct a pilot sample survey using the new methodology mid-2017.

The FAO project “Strengthening Institutions and Capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture and State Veterinary Inspection Service for Policy Formulation” is funded by the European Union. Work on agricultural data and statistics is just one of the areas covered.

“Within the framework of the EU-funded project, as well as other initiatives, FAO supports the Agrarian Reform in Tajikistan and one of the elements is to improve the agriculture data collection and its analyze through capacity building activities, which ultimately contribute to better agriculture production planning in the country - said Viorel Gutu, FAO Representative in Tajikistan.

“We hope that our project will assist in creating open dialogue and strong linkages between the Ministry of Agriculture, the State Agency for Statistics under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan and other institutions in order to contribute to the national goal of ensuring food security for all,” he said.

9 February 2016, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

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