FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Statisticians receive practical help to carry out agricultural census

Halfway through the 2020 round of the World Programme for the Census of Agriculture covering the period of 2016–2025, FAO is providing further practical input for the countries of Europe and Central Asia to join this cycle.

The five-day FAO webinar presents Volume 2 of the World Programme of the Census of Agriculture (WCA 2020) - “Operational Guidelines” dealing with the practical steps involved in actually conducting an agricultural census in the field: from design and planning, and fieldwork operations, to processing, analysis, and dissemination of census results. The virtual event allows FAO Members in Europe and Central Asia to deepen their understanding about the main stages of preparing and implementing an agricultural census.

The webinar will feature a roundtable to provide country updates on census plans, approaches, and methodologies, as well as highlight national experiences and issues based on the last or ongoing census and the agricultural census’ technicalities.

The FAO World Programme for the Census of Agriculture supports and guides countries in carrying out national agricultural censuses. Data collected provides a snapshot of the state of a country’s agricultural sector and is vital for agricultural planning and policy-making, research, and development, and monitoring the impact of agriculture on the environment. 

“For this 10-year round, started in 2016, FAO has developed a new set of guidelines that take into account the changing nature of data use and collection,” said Giorgi Kvinikadze, FAO statistician for Europe and Central Asia. “Additional data domains have been included, too, such as fisheries and greenhouse gas emissions, to aid monitoring the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.”

The operational guidelines (Volume 2 of WCA 2020) is a revised and updated edition of “Conducting Agricultural Censuses and Surveys,” published by FAO in 1996. The revision was opportune not only in view of the new census programme and methodology, but also due to the substantial technological changes over the last two decades. The availability of digital, mobile, and more affordable tools for data capture, geo-positioning, remote sensing imaging, digital archiving, and online dissemination can provide new cost-effective alternatives to traditional ways of conducting the agricultural census. This technological revolution facilitates field operations and monitoring, shortens data processing, streamlines data archiving and preservation, increases the timeliness of the census data, and ensures user-friendly access to and comprehensibility of the census results.

Out of the 50-plus countries of Europe and Central Asia, 33 conducted a full agricultural census in the 2020 cycle and 10 more are planning to follow their examples.

25 October 2021, Budapest, Hungary