Need for ac­cu­rate agri­cul­ture statis­tic

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

Ob­tain­ing more ac­cu­rate agri­cul­tural Sta­tis­tics in Asia and Pa­cific has been a ma­jor chal­lenge faced by the Food and Agri­cul­ture Orig­i­na­tion of the United Na­tions. The ac­cu­rate Sta­tis­tics will help the re­gion meet the fu­ture food se­cu­rity tar­gets in the re­gions.

In or­der to ad­dress the is­sue the 26th Ses­sion of Asia Pa­cific Com­mis­sion for Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral Sta­tis­tics ( APCAS) co-or­ga­nized by the Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion ( FAO) which was hosted by Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forests with del­e­gates drawn from some 20 coun­tries and sub-re­gional or­ga­ni­za­tions was be­ing held in Thim­phu last week.

As agri­cul­ture be­comes more im­por­tant to meet­ing the food se­cu­rity chal­lenges of grow­ing and rapidly de­vel­op­ing Asia and the Pa­cific, the need for im­prove­ments to its sys­tem of col­lect­ing agri­cul­tural sta­tis­tics is crit­i­cal. The par­tic­i­pants de­lib­er­ated on the chal­lenges of meet­ing the in­for­ma­tion needs for the agri­cul­ture sec­tor for bet­ter mon­i­tor­ing and re­spond to pat­terns of hunger, food in­se­cu­rity and mal­nu­tri­tion while high­light­ing new method­olo­gies and ini­tia­tives that will help them achieve the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDGs).

To achieve its Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals in Asia and the Pa­cific, the re­gion im­proved sys­tems of agri­cul­tural sta­tis­tics is needed.

The Global Strat­egy to im­prove Agri­cul­tural and Ru­ral Sta­tis­tics (GSARS) is an am­bi­tious five- year pro­gramme im­ple­mented by FAO in the col­lab­o­ra­tion with other part­ners that seeks to em­power de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to pro­duce bet­ter agri­cul­tural and ru­ral sta­tis­tics for ef­fec­tive pol­icy mak­ing and to im­prove lives.

GSARS is cur­rently be­ing im­ple­mented in 15 coun­tries in Asia and Pa­cific to pro­duce a Strate­gic Plan for Agri­cul­tural and Ru­ral Sta­tis­tics that will as­sist in build­ing na­tional ca­pac­i­ties to pro­duce core data for mon­i­tor­ing the SDGs and for bet­ter de­vel­op­ment plan­ning.

The part­ner coun­tries of GSARS, has pre­pared a strate­gic Plan for SPRNRS which was pre­sented to the meet­ing for ob­tain­ing valu­able feed­back. SPARS out­line has reached ad­vanced stage in seven coun­tries.

The Asia Pa­cific Com­mis­sion on Agri­cul­tural Sta­tis­tics (APCAS) is a statu­tory body of FAO with a man­date to re­view the state of food and agri­cul­tural sta­tis­tics in the re­gion and ad­vise mem­ber coun­tries on their de­vel­op­ment and stan­dard­iza­tion within the gen­eral frame work of FAO’s sta­tis­tics work.

Agri­cul­tural sta­tis­tics is vi­tal for mon­i­tor­ing progress to­wards the UN Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals and we can only know where we stand in pro­vid­ing food se­cu­rity through sus­tain­able agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion and adap­tion to cli­mate change.

In Bhutan the need for agri­cul­tural sta­tis­tics is more im­por­tant as we im­port most of our food items and veg­eta­bles. In or­der to make our coun­try self suf­fi­cient in food and veg­eta­bles we must have ac­cu­rate agri­cul­tural sta­tis­tics to achieve the tar­get in a phase wise ba­sis as go­ing self suf­fi­cient in one go is not pos­si­ble.

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