Based on an assessment conducted in 2018, strategic planning in agriculture has been identified as one of the major challenges faced in OECS Member States.
Consequently, the OECS launched the project “Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS) and Questionnaire Design in OECS Member States” with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). The project aims to facilitate agricultural strategic planning through the improvement in data collection, compilation and dissemination methods.
Thanks to the FAO we will be able to develop a document which would provide long term direction for the improvement of agricultural and rural statistics in each country and it will include a concrete plan of action and feasible options and assessment of resources required to implement it. OECS Programme Officer of Agriculture George Alcee stated.
The 3-day workshop followed an inception workshop held in Saint Lucia in February 2019 and enabled 20 experts from the OECS Member States to strengthen their capacity in 3 main areas including:
understanding the Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS) process and the expected support and role of the country focal points in the exercise;
the creation of a common agriculture module for the Population and Housing Census (PHC), under the guidance and technical support of the FAO; and
the design of questionnaires to meet data needs in the agricultural sector.
This workshop was timely in light of ongoing preparations for the 2020 round of PHCs in the National Statistical Offices (NSO) and more so because Agricultural censuses and surveys within the Member States are quite dated.