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Validation Workshop of the Japanese-funded Project on “Strengthening Agricultural Statistics and Food Security Information in CARD Countries through South-South Cooperation”

01/07/2019 - 

The Validation Workshop of the “Strengthening Agricultural Statistics and Food Security Information in CARD Countries through South-South Cooperation” Project was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 19-20 June 2019. Many stakeholders participated in the workshop: the Japanese Government, in particular the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, funding source of the project, as well as Government Representatives of the concerned host countries, namely: Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda, as well as private sector actors, the Government of the Republic of Kenya that hosted the workshop, the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice),  and, last but not least, FAO staff.

This project was launched as a response to the increasing demand for South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) on rice production statistics, as countries seek to build on the specific strengths and experiences of those who have progressed in upscaling their anti-hunger programmes. This is also in line with the 2030 Agenda, which promotes SSTC as a means for knowledge sharing, towards the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals.

The project is designed to utilize expertise from the ASEAN and Africa gathered by the Government of Japan over the past years. It is structured by drawing from statistical methods currently implemented in ASEAN countries, and taking advantage of FAO’s SSTC scheme in synergy with the statistical project carried out by AfricaRice. The project has conducted training workshops and pilot surveys in nine target countries supported by both Asian and African experts. More than 600 officials and enumerators participated in the activities to strengthen their capacities.

The Validation Workshop was organized to contribute to the development of a reliable and sustainable rice production survey method in the CARD member countries involved. The specific objectives of the workshop were to share the results of the project’s activities, its global knowledge and expertise which have contributed to the development of a more feasible survey method and to discuss ways to further improve the rice production surveys in CARD member countries.

Following the workshop’s discussions, the following conclusions were reached:  1) the feasibility of surveys should be secured in addition to their reliability when a survey method is developed; 2) although suitable survey methods are different depending on the background of each country, dot sampling with actual measurement can be a promising a survey method model on rice yield, area and production especially in developing countries, considering its reliability and efficiency; 3) in addition to the technical aspects, it would be valuable to raise awareness on the importance of statistics at policy level.

It is expected that the results of the workshop contribute to a stronger commitment of the CARD member countries in order to improve the rice production survey, by using the results of the project. In this regard, during the workshop, the publication “Guidelines on planning rice production survey” was distributed. The Guidelines, written on the basis of lessons learnt from the project activities, consist of technical components such as sampling methods, survey methods, as well as other basic knowledge to be considered when surveys are designed and improved.