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World Programme for the Census of Agriculture

The FAO World Programme for the Census of Agriculture (WCA) has been supporting countries to carry out their national agricultural census since 1950. It promotes the use of standard international concepts, definitions and methodology.

The FAO World Programme for the Census of Agriculture provides support and guidance to countries to carry out national agricultural censuses. Data collected provides a snapshot of the state of a country’s agricultural sector - from size of holdings, land tenure, land use, area harvested, irrigation, livestock, labour and other agricultural inputs. This information is vital in agricultural planning and policy-making, research and development and monitoring the impact of agriculture on the environment. 

For this 10-year round, FAO has developed a new set of guidelines that involve a number of developments taking into account the changing nature of data use and collection. New data collection technologies have been included to drastically reduce the time lag between data collection and data analysis. Additional data domains have been included/proposed, such as fisheries and GHG emissions to aid monitoring the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among the new methodologies proposed, there is also a renewed approach for assessing food security by reviewing the severity of food insecurity as experienced by individuals in the population. 


Regional Roundtable on the World Programme for the Census of Agriculture 2020 (WCA 2020) 
18- 22 September 2017 Nairobi, Kenya
The objective of this meeting is to help participants gain a deeper understanding of the new FAO recommendations and international standards that guide the implementation of agricultural censuses between 2016 and 2025.

World Programme for the Census of Agriculture 2020Volume I: Programme, concepts and definitions

This publication provides guidance on agricultural censuses carried out by countries in the period between 2016 and 2025. The WCA 2020 will ensure that data collected are comparable at the international level while also addressing emerging information needs of the 21st century.