Workshop identifies need for proper agricultural statistics
Agriculture has always been the main source of sustenance in rural PNG, but its increasing commercial value over the years has created a need for better planning and policies to tap into its vast potential, a workshop was told.
The workshop was told that there is a real need to improve planning and policy making in improving statistics on aspects of agriculture in production, livestock, fishery and forestry.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) with the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) held the workshop on geography information system (GIS) and sampling, improving framework for agriculture census to address the statistics and agriculture census in the country.
Technical division officer of DAL, Heai Hoko, said the department has been carrying out estimated planning which needs a proper systematic approach to generate baseline statistics and census.
He said agriculture has played a major role in PNG’s economy in which the government has given priority to the agriculture sector in its planning and budgeting process.
“There is emphasis on agriculture, there is a need for realisation that adequate emphasis to this sector should be given,” said Mr Hoko.
He said the statistics system in PNG suffers from lack of resources in manpower and training for personnel to carry out effective work on agriculture data collection.
“An agriculture census has been conducted in PNG for more than 40 years, which is currently outdated and it needs to be updated,” he said.
Hoko said the lack of baseline agriculture statistics poses a severe challenge for the government to monitor and evaluate the impacts of agriculture projects and national development indicators in the agriculture and rural development sector.
“This also comprises the ability of the government to monitor progress against relevant sustainable development goals,” Mr Hoko said.
With the workshop underway, Mr Hoko said the purpose of the partnership is part of developing the framework for an agriculture census.
“For this workshop a prerequisite is to develop an agriculture framework for the census or survey sampling.
The use of statistical methods and tools such as GIS and the use of sampling can enhance and upgrade the frame required,” he said.