By Rayon Lakingu – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Statistics and data processing in the country’s agriculture sector continues to be a major challenge. This was revealed today at a National Inception Workshop on Statistics and data processing, hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
FAO PNG Head, Ken Shimizu, revealed at the workshop that the last agriculture census conducted in the country, was in the 1960s.
The National Inception Workshop on statistics and data processing was hosted by the National Department of Agriculture and Livestock, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the National Statistics office. The workshop saw all stakeholders and development partners of the agriculture sector contributing their ideas on statistics in the agriculture sector.
“The aim of the project is help DAL and NSO analysing specific data modules on food and security and agriculture production which was collected in the demographic and health survey collected last year,” FAO PNG Head Ken Shimizu said.
Shimizu says statistics and data processing and analysis is very important in developing the agriculture sector. He said information in terms of the total output of agriculture products is not available in an organised manner in the country. Shimizu added that information should be collected at the earliest so that certain policies to support certain crops in the country will be supported.
“There hasn’t been any agricultural base line. I think you all are aware; the last official agriculture census was conducted in the 1960s.” said Shizimu.
Department of Agriculture and Livestock Deputy Secretary, Steven Mombi, in supporting Shimizu, said accurate data and statistics are vital for development in the agriculture sector. The deputy secretary also confirmed that the last agriculture census conducted in the country was in the 1960’s.
“Straight after independence, there was decentralisation and functions were removed from the department and we lost connectivity at that time.” Mombi said.
The deputy secretary also added that the department has put in place better policies to see development in the agriculture sector.
He thanked FAO for being a partner in the agriculture sector, and urged all partners and stakeholders to work together to develop the sector.