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Agricultural sample census kicks off today

THE National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is today expected to launch a national agricultural, livestock and fisheries sample census.

The census aims at obtaining important information that will be used to plan and evaluate various sectoral plans.

According to NBS Senior Statistician, Mr Samuel Kawa, this will be the fifth census to be conducted since Tanzania gained her independence in 1961.

Speaking at the ongoing 27th Nane Nane agricultural exhibitions in Bariadi District of Simiyu Region, Mr Kawa said important information will be collected based on the agricultural year from October, last year to September 30, this year; however, the number of livestock will be counted as it was in August, this year.

“The first census was conducted in 1972, the second in 1993/94 and 1994/95, the third in 2002/03 and the fourth in 2007/08,” he noted.

Mr Kawa noted further that the Census was designed to meet the data needs of a wide range of users, down to district level, including policy makers at local, regional and national levels, rural development agencies, funding institutions, researchers, NGOs, farmers' organisations, and others.

According to him, the data set is both more numerous in its sample and detailed in its scope and coverage so as to meet user demand.

Mr Kawa said the census would seek to identify any structural changes, in the size of farm household holdings, crop and livestock production, farm input and implement use. 

It also aims to determine if there are any improvements in the rural infrastructure and the level of agricultural households living conditions.

Expounding further, he said the census will also provide benchmark data on productivity, production and agricultural practices in relation to policies and interventions promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders.

He mentioned some of the information to be collected in the agriculture census as the volume of crop production, number of livestock and its products, Fish farming, crop processing, crop storage, investment in agriculture access and use of loans for agricultural activities and agricultural and livestock services.

“These data will be collected by sample survey data for smallholder farmers. But for large farmers they will be interviewed, and also information on access to social services will be collected where village leaders will provide such information,” he added.

The Agriculture and Livestock Census is not only conducted in Tanzania but is conducted in various countries in accordance with the Guidelines of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in order to make comparisons between countries.

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