The agricultural sector is seen by economists and financial analysts as a potential break through sector of the economy which can be used to diversify the economy away from over reliance and dependence on diamonds. As a result, in line with Botswana’s vision to attain food security and global competitiveness for agriculture products, the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with Statistics Botswana will conduct the 2015 Agricultural Census which will be carried out for the upcoming twelve months.
According to a statement passed to The Telegraph earlier this week from Statistics Botswana, the objectives of the 2015 Agricultural Census are, “to provide time series basic information on crop and livestock production and on agricultural farming practice and farm labour.” It further reads that the census will be conducted to provide basic information on agricultural farming practices and farm labour.”
The data collected through the agricultural census will be used by various stakeholders and key players in the Agricultural sector to come up with suitable economic diversification policies that could improve the overall performance of the agricultural sector in Botswana. This is in line with the vision 2016 pillar that Agriculture in Botswana will be productive, profitable and sustainable, and will make a full contribution to economic development, poverty alleviation, food, security, improvement of the quality of life.
The economy of Botswana continues to depend on agricultural research, livestock and crops as a way of gaining information for strategic policy making. As a result, agricultural censuses are conducted at ten year intervals with the primary objective to establish new baseline data and provide a new framework for subsequent annual surveys. The first Agricultural Census was conducted in 1971, and it focused only on livestock.
The inaugural Agricultural Census, to cover both livestock and crops was conducted in 1982, whilst the second Agricultural Census was held in 1993. The most recent agricultural census was done in 2004.
All past Agricultural Censuses were conducted by the then Central Statistics Office (CSO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and sometimes with technical assistance from Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO), as was the case in 1993.
Through the cooperation that farmers and ranchers will provide, the Botswana’s 2015 Agricultural Census is depending on the assistance from the public to respond accurately to enumerators to make this exercise a success.