Namibia Agriculture Census in Full Swing

The Agriculture Census is in full swing in the communalsubsistence agricultural sector in all the 14 regions of Namibia. Progress is going on well with the field work and currently some Namibia Statistics Agency’s (NSA) HQ staff are out in the regions doing monitoring and field supervision to ensure completeness and accuracy of the data on the spot. The census is planned to be conducted in two distinct phases with Phase One involving face-to-face interviews of all agricultural households, and area measurements of all parcels, fields and plots. This phase is anticipated to be successfully completed by the end of this month. Phase two involves crop-cutting, an exercise that will enable the estimation of yield and production.

The entire agricultural census operation is planned to be completed before or by the end of June. But as is the case with any survey or censuses, the 201314 census workers are experiencing some problems here and there. “The laptops that we use for the Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI) are prone to crashing. Sometimes the laptops are getting damaged or lost through theft and census vehicles accidents,” says Nelson Ashipala of the NSA.

He says up to date they have replaced about 4-5 rented 4times4 vehicles through accidents most due to the heavy rains in some regions, which in some instances also affects and hampers the progress of the field work since fieldworkers have to stop during heavy rains. Progress is also heavily affected by unexpected resignations from some of our field workers who in many cases get permanent job offers. We recently completed a second round of training for interviewers to serve as a reserve pool to fill the gaps as the turn-over is rather high.

Notwithstanding the challenges faced, the census operations are progressing well and on schedule as some of the problems being experienced were already anticipated and were thus factored in during the planning process.

Source : New Era