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In cooperation with the Arab Institute for Training and Research in Statistics FAO holds WCA 2020 Roundtable Meeting in Jordan

Meeting aims to help FAO member countries to better understand new conceptual approaches to data collection

16 May 2016, Cairo / Jordan – In cooperation with the Arab Institute for Training and Research in Statistics (AITRS), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is organizing a 16-19 May roundtable meeting on the World Programme for the Censuses of Agriculture 2020 (WCA 2020), in the Jordanian capital Amman.

AITRS member countries will participate in the meeting, which is part of a series of regional sessions planned to present the WCA 2020 to FAO member countries in different parts of the world.

The meeting aims to disseminate the new WCA 2020, which covers the period 2016-2025, among FAO member countries from the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region. It is designed to help the participants gain a deeper understanding of FAO’s new recommendations and international standards that guide the implementation of agricultural censuses in all countries between 2016 and 2025.

The programme inter alia presents conceptual approaches to be adopted for collecting data on many emerging subjects and some operational aspects of census taking. Plans of the countries for implementing the next round of agricultural census and surveys will also be reviewed.

The Agricultural Censuses and Surveys Team of the Statistics Division spent two years and a half developing the new guidelines. The Team is now rolling out the new guidelines among FAO member countries through eight regional roundtables, starting with FAO/AITRS member countries in the NENA region. The workshops aim to help countries gain a deeper understanding of the new approaches and methodologies to data collection being advocated by FAO through this new census Programme.

Countries are expected to adopt the WCA 2020 guidelines for conducting their national census of agriculture. “The use of the standards, concepts and definitions will ensure that the data can be compared across countries. Adopting the guidelines will also help countries to develop an integrated census and survey programme, use innovative and cost-effective methodologies, and broaden the dissemination of census data for informed strategic decisions,” said Jairo Castano, the Leader of the FAO Agricultural Censuses and Surveys Team.

“The WCA 2020 is crucially important. It allows the collection of basic agricultural statistics in a country, helps identify trends and changes to agriculture, and provides data that can be used as a benchmark for current statistics and that add value to other data sources,” said FAO NENA Regional Statistician, Mohammad Barre.

“There will be several benefits for WCA 2020 data users. The programme supports evidence-based agricultural planning and policy-making; facilitates research, investment and business decisions; contributes to evaluating the impact of agricultural activities on the environment; helps assess food security in agricultural holdings and the role of women in agricultural activities; and provides baseline data for monitoring and evaluation of projects and interventions,” he added.

Countries are expected to adopt the WCA 2020 guidelines for conducting their national census of agriculture. The use of the standards, concepts and definitions will ensure that the data can be compared across countries. Adopting the guidelines will also help countries develop an integrated census and survey programme, use innovative and cost-effective methodologies, and broaden the dissemination of census data for informed strategic decisions.

These censuses are crucial for governments to implement evidence-based policies to foster agricultural and rural development, ensure access to land, improve food security and reduce the adverse environmental impacts of agricultural activities. Census data are also essential for the private sector to make informed decisions that guide their investments in agri-business activities.

The information collected provides an accurate picture of the agricultural sector and a reliable sampling frame for current agricultural surveys. In particular, the censuses entail a complete account of the structure of the agricultural sector, including the number and size of holdings, land use, crop area, crop intensity, irrigation facilities, agricultural input use, livestock numbers, as well as farmer demographics and employment.

Based on countries’ experiences and lessons learnt over previous decades, the new guidelines form part of the FAO coordinated World Programme for the Census of Agriculture, which covers the period 2016-2025. For the first time, the new census programme provides guidance on how to obtain and integrate data on fisheries and on greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from agricultural activities.

The participants in the meeting are professional statisticians and census leaders who are likely to play a role in the planning and execution of next agricultural census in their respective countries. A total of 21 countries have been invited to the meeting. The invited countries include Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The (WCA) supports countries to carry out censuses on a 10-year cycle. The current round started in 2016 with the publication of the WCA 2020, which is the 10th census decennial programme. It is the basis for implementing agricultural censuses in FAO member countries between 2016 and 2025.


16/05/2016

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