The National Bureau of Statistics has said efforts were being intensified to conduct a comprehensive census of all agricultural activities in the country. Such activities include crop production, fisheries, forestry and livestock activities.
Tagged National Agricultural Sample Census (NASC), the exercise is supposed to be conducted between five to 10 years, in line with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) standards.
However, the exercise was last carried out in Nigeria in 1993/94. Addressing participants in Asaba at a sensitisation workshop for the 17 states in the southern part of the country, the Director of Demography and Household Statistics Department of NBS, Adeyemi Adeniran, stressed the need for the conduct of the census which, he noted, was very critical in the statistical calendar of this year.
Essentially, Adeniran said NASC was an exercise designed to fill the existing data gap in the agricultural landscape in the country. He said the agricultural sector holds a key part in the economic and socio-cultural lives of Nigerians, hence the need to have vital information about the sector.
“As a nation, it is necessary to know what we produce and how much of it we do; what parts of the country they are produced; the inputs involved in the production; the size of manpower employed; the challenges; and the potentials within the sector yet to be harnessed.
“All of this information is what the NASC exercise seeks to produce. On completion, NASC will provide a statistically sound base of information for policymakers to take important decisions on boosting output and maximising potential throughout the entire agriculture value chain. “