In a significant milestone for Nepal's agricultural sector, the Government of Nepal, through the National Statistic Office, officially unveiled the National Sample of Census Agriculture for the year 2021/22. The unveiling ceremony, conducted in the capital city of Kathmandu, underscored the pivotal role of agricultural census data in shaping the nation's future agricultural policies and development endeavours.
The National Sample of Census Agriculture collected data from approximately 330,112 farmers across all seven provinces, with a primary focus on various aspects of agriculture, including crop production, livestock, land use, irrigation, mechanization, farmer demographics, female engagement and others. This comprehensive dataset offers a holistic understanding of Nepal's diverse agricultural landscape.
The data collection process involved a rigorous survey conducted by a workforce of around 7,200 individuals, comprising 5,050 enumerators, 1,350 supervisors, and 77 National Sample of Census Agriculture officers. Traditional paper questionnaires were used for data collection and in Kathmanduvalley NSO carry on Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). for data collection.
This census ensured representation from all seven provinces, guaranteeing that the collected data accurately reflects the entire nation on a sampling basis. Moreover, the census placed a strong emphasis on documenting modern agricultural practices, including the adoption of technology and sustainable farming methods, which is crucial for fostering agricultural innovation.
During the unveiling program, Dr. Min Bahadur Shrestha, Vice Chairperson of the National Planning Commission, expressed gratitude to the National Statistics Office and FAO for their unwavering support and collaboration in finalizing the National Sample of Census Agriculture. He highlighted the timeliness of the report's release, coinciding with the drafting of the 16th periodic plan by the National Planning Commission, where it will add value in shaping agricultural programs.
The National Sample of Census Agriculture represents a significant milestone, particularly in the context of federalism, as it gathered data from 753 local governments, encompassing detailed information on agriculture and livestock-related matters.
Dr. Ram Kumar Phuyal, member from the National Planning Commission, emphasized that the release of the National Sample of Census Agriculture 2021/22 marks a significant step forward in Nepal's agricultural development by contributing data-driven decision-making to address the nation's agricultural challenges and improve the livelihoods of farmers across Nepal.
Dr.Rewati Raman Poudel, Secretary from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, extended his appreciation to NSO officials for their dedicated efforts in finalizing the National Sample of Census Agriculture 2021/22. He affirmed the government's commitment to utilizing this valuable data for further planning and transforming the agriculture sector.
Mr Ken Shimizu, FAO Representative for Bhutan and Nepal, commended the efforts of the government and all involved in conducting the census and stressed its critical role in shaping the future of Nepal's agriculture sector. He lauded the government's commitment to using this data for developing policies and programs to enhance farmers' lives and promote sustainable agricultural practices.
Mr Toyam Raya, Chief of the National Statistics Office, emphasized that the census results would serve as the foundation for evidence-based decision-making. This, in turn, will help address key challenges in the agricultural sector, such as food security, income generation, and sustainable farming practices, by providing accurate and up-to-date information about the agricultural sector. He recognized FAO Nepal for strong collaboration and support for materializing this censusby providing international guidelines and methodologies under the World Census of Agriculture (WCA) program.
The National Sample of Census Agriculture primarily covered structural data, including land area under permanent and temporary crops, livestock numbers, land ownership and utilization, irrigation status, use of agricultural machinery and equipment, livestock demographics, non-residential building usage, agricultural labour details, fish farming, tea cultivation, mulberry farming, floriculture, and other auxiliary agricultural activities. Additionally, it delved into contemporary topics such as agricultural loans, insurance, subsidies, environmental aspects of agriculture, food sufficiency, and access to agricultural markets.
The data collected in the census will be made available to the public in both hard copy and digital formats through the National Statistics Office's website, ensuring prompt access for relevant stakeholders, allowing for immediate analysis, and facilitating its use in policy formulation.