BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
LAST week, Ministry of Finance and Treasury’s National Statistics Office (NSO) held discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) to determine how they can collaborate and pave way to enhance agriculture census across the country.
This is according to the Ministry of Finance and Treasury’s press statement.
At the meeting, government statistician, Mr Douglas Kimi said that agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economy hence it is crucial that data collected is up to date and accurate to assist future policy makers in policy formulation.
He stressed that to establish such a close link with MAL is vital because it will help NSO in compiling accurate statistics of agriculture production in the country.
“That would not only help the NSO in accurate data collection but also help policy makers in the formulation of policies to improve the country’s agriculture sector and socio-economic development,” said Mr Kimi.
He also informed MAL officials of the progress of the first National Agriculture Survey Project (NASP) that was conducted last year.
Kimi explained that the survey on “Big Farms” is the second component of NASAP 2017 which is currently in progress.
“The ‘big farms’ data will supplement the data collected from the household based agriculture survey (NASP 2017) that was completed in October last year and the data currently being analyzed,” he said.
MAL’s Supervising Permanent Secretary, Mr Oswald Ramo commended NSO for taking up such an initiative and referred to the meeting as timely and very important.
“This meeting is important because it will create a reference point where we can build our relation towards improving data collection with regards to Agriculture production in the country,” he said.
Further stated by the press release is that since last year NSO has piloted the NASP survey under it’s National Statistics Development Strategy 2016/17-2035 (NSDS).
NASP 2017 is the country’s first national agriculture survey which covers all selected household agricultural holdings.
The survey intends to assist the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock with planning to improve agriculture production in the country.
Additionally, this survey will provide benchmark data on land use, the type of agriculture and related activities, structure of agricultural holdings and their main characteristics, support to strategic plans and programmes of Solomon Islands on agriculture production as well as investment to support the development of some Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators in the agriculture sector.
The second nationwide agriculture census is projected for 2019.