GIS - 18 November, 2015: Government strategy aims at giving priority to food production to meet the demand for food from a growing population and a growing tourism industry and consequently to reduce imports, in particular vegetables and fruits. In order to effectively plan for higher production, precise and accurate facts and figures reflecting the true conditions and status of our agricultural sector have to be compiled on a regular basis to enable informed decisions to be taken and appropriate strategies to be put in place.
This statement was made this morning by the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr M.K Seeruttun, at the launching of the seminar on results of the 2014 Census of Agriculture, conducted jointly by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security and Statistics Mauritius.
In his address Minister Seeruttun pointed out that the Census of Agriculture is at the heart of the national system of food and agricultural statistics. Whilst the current system of agricultural statistics is well developed, no census of agriculture has been conducted in Mauritius for more than 70 years and structural data on the agricultural sector is completely lacking, he added
He further underlined that structural data is critical for long-term sector planning as it identifies the number of farmers engaged in each agricultural activity by demographic profile, size of land, land tenure, land use, agricultural inputs, crop area harvested for temporary crops and land under permanent crops. He added that while some of these data are available from the on-going surveys, the completeness of the frames used and the absence of data on the household sector make the current picture incomplete.
Minister Seeruttun recalled that the present system of agricultural statistics in Mauritius is based on a monthly food crop survey and an annual livestock survey as well as data collection on the sugar and tea sectors. He underscored that most of the information collected is ‘eye estimation’ but where possible, farmers are interviewed and areas are measured.
The Census of Agriculture provides structural data on the agricultural sector to small administrative units for informed planning, policy and decision-making and a benchmark for the system of current agricultural statistics.
It also makes provision for a frame for agricultural surveys and data to help monitor progress towards global development targets.
The expected outcome of this project is a strengthened capability of the Government of Mauritius to develop a sustainable Food and Agriculture Statistics system so that planning and decision-making are based on timely and reliable data.
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