FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

FAO pledges to provide support for the implementation of the Pacific Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Fisheries Statistics (P-SPAFS)

Vanuatu Market
12/04/2023 Apia

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Pacific Community (SPC) have pledged to collaborate on a ten-year plan, the Pacific Strategic Plan for Agriculture and Fisheries Statistics (P-SPAFS) which aims at strengthening the collection and dissemination of statistics related to food security, agriculture, fisheries, and natural resources to support policy formulation and sector decision making. The P-SPAFS framework was created in recognition of the need for timely, accurate, and comprehensive data to support the national Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) action plans of Pacific Island countries and territories. Accurately measuring these SDG indicators at a national level is vitally important as an indication of the success of development interventions and the sustainable development of countries and the Pacific region as a whole.

"Accurate and comprehensive data is vital for informed decision-making in agriculture and fisheries. Through our collaboration with SPC and the implementation of P-SPAFS, we aim to strengthen the collection and dissemination of statistics to support sustainable development in the Pacific region," noted FAO Subregional Coordinator for the Pacific Islands, Xiangjun Yao.

As part of FAO’s ongoing support to P-SPAFS, a regional workshop was held, bringing together representatives from the Pacific Island countries and territories. The workshop aimed to share potential and priority activities identified from previous projects and gather feedback on the priority, feasibility and desirability of potential activities for immediate implementation.

Based on the findings of the workshop and follow-up discussions with individual countries, specific recommendations and requests for technical assistance were made to FAO, which will be addressed through this Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP). Targeted countries include the Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. 

Targeted countries will receive technical support in, producing SDG target 2.1 indicators and deriving other food security and consumption statistics; strengthening capacities to produce regular, quality agriculture production data; and improving capacities on modern research techniques and technologies related to agriculture statistics.

The capacity development activities will enable countries to produce and report on their own SDG indicators 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 as well as generate indicators on food security and nutrition from their future surveys. The collaboration with SPC ensures that all FAO tools and methodologies comply with established standards and that estimates produced can be compared across countries and over time and can be aggregated for global monitoring.

"We are committed to utilizing the P-SPAFS initiative to enhance our national capacities in producing SDG indicators, improving agriculture production data, and utilizing modern research techniques,” noted Mr Benuel LENGE, Government Chief Statistician at Vanuatu Bureau of Statistics (VBoS). “This collaboration between FAO and SPC will contribute to evidence-based policy development and monitoring of progress towards SDG 2 in Vanuatu."

FAO and SPC are committed to ensuring that the project contributes to the achievement of SDG 2 in the Pacific region and beyond. By strengthening national capacities and improving the availability and quality of data, the project will support evidence-based decision-making, policy development, and monitoring of progress towards the achievement of SDG 2 and related targets.

The activities around AGRIS and sample survey design will expose countries to the recommended approach by FAO to collecting agriculture data in a systematic way which will increase the availability of quality data for users. The increased demand for agricultural data at a more disaggregated level is the catalyst behind the training focused on handling agriculture survey/census microdata documentation and preservation which will give Pacific Island countries hands-on experience on how to generate the microdata, prepare the file and document the metadata and make it available for users on national websites as well as disseminate it to the Pacific Data Hub. The collaboration with SPC (the custodians of the Pacific Data Hub) ensures that the method in which the microdata is to be handled will be shared with the countries

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