Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics

Strengthening Agricultural Statistics: Final Master Sampling Frame Workshop Concludes in Tanzania


In an effort to fortify agricultural and rural statistics, the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics (GSARS) hosted a pivotal training workshop in Tanzania focused on the Master Sampling Frames (MSF) package. The MSF package has been proposed for 13 beneficiary countries, including Tanzania. The workshop's primary aim was to provide exhaustive training on sampling and estimation procedures that are crucial for the effectiveness of agricultural surveys. This training was led by expert Dramane Bako and was joined by 14 participants.

The training spanned multiple key areas, including procedures for sample design, calculating sample size, stratification and allocation, adjusting sampling weights, and estimations of various key parameters such as means, proportions, and totals. The workshop also delved into understanding sampling errors, including variance, coefficient of variation, and confidence intervals.


The actual training workshop was held at the National Bureau of Statistics office in Dar es Salaam. It saw a diverse participation, including attendees from both Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. The workshop not only covered a broad spectrum of topics such as introduction to sampling design and methods, probability sampling, multistage sampling, and advanced topics in sampling but also incorporated practical exercises. Participants were introduced to real-world case studies and received hands-on training on Excel templates and statistical softwares.


As of now, all planned trainings within the framework of the MSF package in Tanzania have been completed, marking a significant milestone in advancing agricultural statistics in the region. The efforts have already begun to yield positive outcomes, both in Tanzania and other African countries participating in the GSARS program, thanks to the support of our partners and donors, the European Union and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


For instance, these training activities have empowered statisticians and policymakers with tools and methodologies to accurately capture and analyze agricultural data, thereby leading to more informed and effective agricultural policy decisions. There has been an appreciable uptick in the quality and availability of agricultural and rural statistics, which is invaluable for tracking progress toward sustainable development goals. Furthermore, FAO experts are in the process of developing a final technical report that will be discussed with the Tanzanian team in a forthcoming restitution meeting.