The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with the World Bank and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) are to conduct the National Agriculture Sample Census.
Speaking at the Stakeholders’ Sensitisation Workshop on National Agricultural Sample Census in Keffi, Nasarawa State, the Director, Demography and Household Statistics Department of NBS, Adeyemi Adeniran, said the annual exercise is part of measures to know the accurate data of agricultural yields in the country.
Adeniran said the census involved the enumeration of all agricultural activities in the country, including crop production, fisheries, forestry, and livestock activities.
Conventionally, the director said the agriculture census was meant to be conducted every five to 10 years in line with the FAO standards.
However, he said the last round of the census was carried out in 1993/94, hence the crucial need for it to be conducted at this time.
While several attempts have been made since then to conduct the census, Adeniran said it was never fully conducted, hence the imperative that the exercise must be conducted this year.
“The census is a complete enumeration of all agricultural activities within the country, including both small holder farmers and large corporate farms. The small holders or subsistent farmers will be canvassed through the households, while the corporate farms will be done through our framework for conducting establishment surveys.
“The implementation of the exercise will be done in two phases, the first being the Listing Phase, and the second being the Sample Survey Phase. Under the first phase, enumerators will visit selected farms and farming households to collect information. The scope of information to be collected in this phase includes demographic details of the holders, type of agricultural activities, including crop production, fishery, poultry, or livestock; the type of produce or product (rice, maize, sorghum, chicken, or cow), and the details of the contact persons. In the second phase, a sample of the farms listed under the first phase will be taken and more detailed information collected.”
In addition to the information collected in the first phase, the director said data, such as size of the holding, area cultivated, total yield, type of farming practices, inputs, challenges, amongst others, would be gathered.
Besides, he said the methodology to be adopted in the conduct of this exercise was advanced, adding that for the first time in Nigeria, the entire process would be carried out digitally.
The NBS, he said, has already planned with the National Population Commission (NPC) to secure newly-demarcated digital enumeration maps of the entire country.
This newly-carved out maps, he said, would serve as a basis for the segmentation of the areas the team intend to visit for the assignment.
With these new digital maps, which would be complemented by satellite imagery, he said the process for identifying the farming areas and communities will be much easier, making the segmentation process more efficient and cost-effective. Electronic devices, he said, would be deployed for the data collection and land measurements in the field.
Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) devices will be deployed for interviews with respondents, while GPS mapping devices will be used for the measurement of the plot areas. For the field personnel, a robust training programme has been put in place to equip them for the census.
“There will be two levels of training, one at the headquarters in Abuja for the trainers, and another in the states, for the enumerators, with each one lasting five days. There will also be data editors and data assistants working remotely in the headquarters. Their role will be to check the information coming in from the field in real-time and provide immediate feedback to the field personnel where necessary.
“As is the usual practice in any NBS data collection exercise, adequate physical monitoring and spot-checks will be conducted by senior level officers of the bureau. This will ensure enumerators are following the laid down protocols for data collection and is also intent on rendering assistance to ¹the field personnel in resolving any logistical or operational issues. All these measures will go a long way in safeguarding the quality and integrity of this exercise,” he said.
Following this sensitisation event, Adeniran said another sensitisation session would be held for stakeholders in the southern part of the country next week, after which the training of trainers for the census would commence.
A pre-test exercise and pilot have already been completed, with the findings of both activities, used to strengthen the design and logistical arrangements for the census.
Earlier, the Chairman, Board of Directors of the bureau, Kabiru Nakaura, stressed the need for data in the agricultural sector, saying that without adequate information on the activities of the sector, Nigerians would not know the quantum of foods they consume at a particular time.