We can look at agricultural data in two general groups:

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1 The agricultural statistics series will be based on the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics that is located in the resource section and available from the Wikipedia web page (wiki.asfoc.ibge.gov.br). The Global Strategy is based on input from national, regional, and international institutions that have an interest in improving agricultural statistics to meet growing user needs for reliable, timely, relevant, comparable, consistent, and accessible agricultural data. There is an increasing focus on the role of agricultural in rural development, where many of the world s poor live and work. These data are also needed for monitoring of the Millennium Development Goals on a country, regional and international basis. The Global Strategy cites a decline in the quality and suitability of agricultural data for these purposes. This module will provide an overview of the importance and uses of agricultural data to understand the current and emerging needs of data users and broaden the vision for agricultural statistical systems. 1

2 Statistically speaking, agricultural statistics are seen as part of the economic profile of a country but are increasingly becoming more broadly defined as data on agriculture in relation to the environment, climate change, biodiversity, food security, and natural resource management are being examined. In many countries the relationships between the ministries of agriculture and national statistical organizations could be improved in terms of integrating agricultural data with other available data to provide a more comprehensive picture of the issues within a country. We can look at agricultural data in two general groups: 1. The structure of agriculture in a country, which includes agricultural holding by distribution, size, tenure, land use, means of production and labor force. 2. Annual agricultural activities which includes crop and livestock production, trade and prices of agricultural products and labor force information. 2

3 Increasingly Agricultural data is seen in the broader context of social, environmental and economic needs of the population. As populations increase so does their demand for agricultural products and need for economic stability. Therefore agriculture is moving from simply focusing on production to sustainably meeting social needs without damaging the environment while remaining economically viable to the mostly lower income population. Globalization means that raw materials can be obtained from one country, processed in a different country, and marketed in virtually all countries. Advances in technology, transportation and communication have made it more effective to conduct business where it is geographically advantageous rather than being limited by the rules, regulations and resources where the business is located. 3

4 International organizations and increasingly national governments need regional and global data for planning and estimation of future needs and impacts. Agricultural activities and policies in one country affects other countries through global trade and environmental impact. Agricultural statistics are needed to provide information used to monitor trends and estimate future prospects for agricultural commodity markets which can assist in setting policies such as price supports, where the price of a commodity is artificially maintained by government action to stabilize the economy, or tariffs, a fee charged by governments on particular goods that are either imported or exported. Agricultural statistics are also needed to assess the role of agriculture commodity production in trade and economic development, not only at the national level but also at the regional level. The world population is increasing as the amount of land suitable for cultivation is diminishing, leading to food security problems. Data is needed for international organizations to analyze the food security situation and plan efforts to meet agricultural production requirements. There is an increasing interest in examining the environmental impact of agricultural activities including issues such as chemical use, genetic engineering, biodiversity, water conservation and land use. 4

5 National governments need information for development planning, especially in rural areas where a large percentage of the population may be economically dependent on agriculture. Agricultural statistics provide this information by holding, type and area, which is not available from other data sources in the detail required. These data on agricultural commodity production form part of the System of National Accounts (SNA). Most countries are monitoring their progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or are monitoring their national progress in fulfilling their Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), which are likely aligned with the MDGs. Agricultural statistics provide critical data on several goals including food security, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. To determine federal policies in the support of agricultural production, resource management, and research, the government needs reliable data on a regular basis to identify problems, measure the impact of policies and programs, and predict upcoming problems and opportunities by comparing data regionally and internationally. For example, data on areas that are affected by weather-related losses or from outbreaks of disease and pests can help define areas affected and in need of government assistance. 5

6 In the Millennium Development Goals there are some indicators that come directly from agricultural statistics, while there are others that could benefit from the addition of agricultural data to provide a more robust picture of the situation, though they are not strictly required. An example would be information on women in agriculture to add to the gender equality information. The following list of direct indicators is to provide an overview of the types of data needed from agricultural statistics to monitor MDGs. More detailed information is available from the United Nations Statistics Division handbook, Indicators for Monitoring the Millennium Development Goals (unstats.un.org/unsd/mdg/resources/attach/indicators/handbookenglish.pdf). Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Target 1.B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people 1.4 Growth rate of GDP per person employed 1.5 Employment-to-population ratio 1.6 Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day 1.7 Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability Target 7.A: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources 7.1 Proportion of land area covered by forest 7.2 CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP) 7.3 Consumption of ozone-depleting substances 7.4 Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits 7.5 Proportion of total water resources used Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development Market access 8.6 Proportion of total developed country imports (by value and excluding arms) from developing countries and least developed countries, admitted free of duty 8.7 Average tariffs imposed by developed countries on agricultural products and textiles and clothing from developing countries 8.8 Agricultural support estimate for OECD countries as a percentage of their gross domestic product 8.9 Proportion of ODA provided to help build trade capacity 6

7 Agricultural producers and associated private sector businesses that support agricultural production need data in order to decide on the proper actions to take to make the most of their resources and make good business decisions. Information on crop conditions, production, inventories and prices can help determine what should be planted, breeding and feeding decisions and marketing focus. Agricultural support businesses including dealers, processors, warehouses, and transportation companies need information to make operational decisions regarding the purchasing and handling of agricultural commodities. For example, what products to stock in what quantity such as seeds, fertilizer, and equipment as well as tracking agricultural products ready for processing, transport and export. 7

8 In general, most of the poor live in rural areas with less infrastructure, lack of access to markets and job opportunities, and more vulnerable to price fluctuations and disasters. The rural population s economic welfare is dependent upon agricultural production and agribusinesses. Many of the poorest are subsistence farmers striving to provide sufficient food for their families. Data can be used to highlight ways to maximize productivity for subsistence farmers and target government programs such as agricultural extension services. Community level data can provide a picture of market access for small holdings as well as opportunities for supplemental incomes. Combining agricultural survey and census data with proxy measures on socioeconomic status of holdings and rural households can provide a more complete picture of the role of agriculture in rural development. 8

9 Agricultural statistics can provide data on food availability by area which can be used to determine the current status of food security by area. Data on community markets and prices provides information on access. Data on household expenditures and consumption patterns can identify at risk households and communities, providing more quantitative information regarding food insecurity. This can be important information for short-term assistance action and long-term development planning. Combining the data on availability and access with weather and crop predictions, as well as tracking historical natural disaster patterns, can help estimate areas of future food insecurity for planning purposes. 9

10 In developing countries, rural poor women often work on family farms as unpaid family workers. They often grow small gardens and gather items to supplement family food. This type of work is often hard to measure as it is often not considered work. There is an opportunity to use agricultural statistics to more robustly gather information on this under-reported area. Agricultural statistics can provide data on farm work by gender and comparison of the characteristics of agricultural holdings by sex can indicate any gender related issues for further study. 10

11 When looking at the statistics for women in employment from the International Labor Organization's 2009 report, you can see that the majority of women work in the services sector worldwide. As you would expect, the percentage of women engaged in agriculture rises when you remove developed country information from the data percent of women work in the industry sector (26.6 per cent for men) 46.3 per cent in the services sector (41.2 per cent for men) and 35.4 per cent in the agricultural sector, compared with 32.2 per cent for men The proportion of women working in agriculture rises when you exclude developing country data. Source: Global Employment Trends for Women International Labour Office - Geneva: ILO, 2009 (www.ilo.org/public/libdoc/ilo/p/09275/09275(2009).pdf) 11

12 Data can be used to analyze a particular crop or livestock of interest, such as the main export for the country for example, to track changes and look for ways to maximize production. Studies could be carried out by geographical area to look at land use and agricultural production and see if there are better ways to maximize production within the particular ecological zone while preserving natural resources. For policy purposes it would be useful to analyze data by various types of agricultural holdings such as subsistence versus market-oriented and we ve already discussed by gender. 12

13 Usually programs for agricultural development or research are conducted on a small scale. These programs benefit from agricultural census data that can provide a robust baseline measure for the target group of interest, whether it be by type of holding, geographic area or type of production. Every country has an ongoing survey program to provide up to date statistics on a variety of topics. Including a few specific questions for the holdings participating in the program can produce outcome measures to guide project decisions. Impact assessment would require more robust program measures that would ideally involve comparing baseline data to subsequent agricultural census data. 13

14 This may seem rather circular but the fact that new agricultural data and methods can improve current agricultural statistics should not be ignored. Agricultural censuses are necessary to improve intercensal survey estimates and provide detailed small area data that is not available from survey data. In order to do this, data must be comparable, which means standardized definitions, unit of enumeration, and data collection methodologies. Complete documentation can also assist in determining the potential causes of errors in estimates and help in determining ways to improve the estimates. 14

15 Agricultural production takes place within ecosystems and as such has a positive or negative impact on the environment. This is of growing concern due to the need for sustainable agriculture and international environmental agreements that reflect public concerns that may influence trade. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has documented efforts by OECD member countries to develop a common framework to measure the environmental impact of agriculture including definitions. This common framework with well-defined indicators allows the tracking of trends over time related to particular types of agriculture, utilization of scarce resources in certain geographical areas, and the impact of certain production practices. 15

16 To gain an idea of the impact that agricultural activities have on the environment, let s look at some numbers from the June 2006, Food and Agricultural Statistics Global Outlook (faostat.fao.org/portals/_faostat/documents/pdf/world.pdf), that is produced by the statistics division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). From these data, it s clear that agricultural activity uses a large proportion of natural resources in terms of land and water so it is reasonable to expect that production practices can have a large impact on resource sustainability and pollution. Note that arable land according to the FAO use and definition in this context refers to land that is under cultivation or left fallow less than five years. The term arable in this context does not include land that is suitable for agriculture but not under cultivation. Source: Food and Agriculture Statistics Global Outlook, June 2006 (faostat.fao.org/portals/_faostat/documents/pdf/world.pdf) 16

17 Agriculture is necessarily weather and climate dependent. The impact of changing climatic conditions on agriculture needs to be taken into consideration when forecasting needs and improving production methods to meet increasing food demands. At the same time there is an increasing trend toward measuring, examining and balancing between social, environmental and agricultural needs. The inter-relationships and between agriculture and climate change is complex and the challenge will be to maintain food production and allow economic development to proceed in fragile areas. As research continues to examine the best ways to quantify these relationships, statistical agencies should be aware of this area of research in the international context. 17

18 Historically water resource management was concerned with supplies for agricultural use. Increasingly this demand for water is being balanced by economic and environmental needs in a broader sense with a focus on technologies to promote more efficient use of water in agriculture. Better information on water availability and use including data on water source levels and users is needed to understand water usage. In water scarce areas there is increasing demand for water which in some cases has resulted in more efficient use of water. Tracking agricultural water use, especially in irrigation, including monitoring water quality after farm use can help measure the potential health and environmental impacts. Agriculture is at risk from greater incidence and severity of floods and drought. This problem is exacerbated by land use policies and urbanization in at risk zones. The ability to analyze agricultural holdings, population distributions and flood and drought affected areas can help decision makers in setting policies and educating the public. 18

19 In 1992, under the international Convention on Biological Diversity many countries committed to conserve biodiversity including genetic resources, habitats and species. As part of the initiative to develop agri-environmental indicators, OECD member countries have held Expert Meetings to address specific issues, including biodiversity. The ultimate goal is to establish a framework that covers the diversity of flora and fauna within the complexity of social, economic and environmental interactions, and their interaction with other ecosystems, including the variety of agricultural holdings. While detailed studies on biodiversity may be beyond the responsibility of statistical agencies, the system of environmental indicators could be introduced in data collection to provide baseline and monitoring information of specific indicators that can be integrated into the existing methodology. 19

20 To reduce the dependency on traditional, limited energy sources, biofuels have become an increasing market for what were traditionally feed stocks. Agricultural statistics are a good source to track biofuel trends and market impact. Biofuel sales translates into better returns for producers but makes previously inexpensive food and feed sources less viable for the poorer population. 20

21 Read the questions on the slide without referring to the other slides. Note your answers and then scroll down for the answers. Do not worry about precise terminology, the point is to understand the concepts presented. If you answer a question incorrectly, review the applicable slides. QUIZ ANSWERS: 1. Agricultural statistics can be classified into what two groups? Structural and Activity statistics. 2. Why do producers and private sector need agricultural statistics? To manage their respective businesses, farmers or producers to know what seeds to buy, what market prices are when choosing livestock feed, etc. Agricultural service or support business to prepare for processing, transportation, farm supplies, etc. 3. What percentage of the world s land is use for agricultural activities? 38% 4. What does agriculture have to do with poverty? Many poor people live in rural areas where a large part of the economy is based on agriculture. 21

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