Zim agric data goes electronic
ZIMBABWE has embarked on a nationwide agriculture survey to capture comprehensive data in an exercise that will see the country present electronic information on all aspects centred on farming.
The survey, being financed by the World Bank, is the second and final after a first round exercise conducted between April and June this year.
Concerns have been raised by various stakeholders, including investors, on the lack of reliable data on the country’s agriculture despite the sector being the pillar of the economy and a source of livelihood for millions of people.
Information obtained by The Sunday Mail shows that the second round of the Agricultural Productivity Module (APM) survey was launched last week and will run until end of November.
According to a joint statement by the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development; the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement and the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT), the latest survey will collect information from smallholder farmers.
The survey, to employ Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in data gathering, will form part of the 2017 Poverty, Income, Consumption and Expenditure Survey (PICES) 2017.
“The survey module will also gather detailed information on the production of smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe and the APM data is collected in two visits designed to coincide with major periods of the main agricultural season, that is the post-planting and post-harvest,” read part of the statement.
“… information on household poverty status, education, health, housing as well as other income sources will be collected.
“This will make it possible to assess the impact of policy measures on household welfare, and inform the design of policies and programmes aimed at improving the lives of rural smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe.”
The survey is expected to strengthen the country’s data collection capacity and pave way for scientific interpretation of the information.
The research comes at a time when the country’s agriculture sector is on a rebound following a successful land repossession exercise at the turn of the new millennium.
Last season, the country recorded a bumper maize harvest that will see a reduction of the food import bill by at least US$200 million and position the sector as one of the key pillars of the economy.