NSO, MAL discuss proposals for close collaboration

(L-R) from back row, Simon Iro, MAL Deputy Director Planning, Government Statistician Douglas Kimi, National Agriculture Survey Project (NASP) National Coordinator, Charles Oloka, Banabas Kega, Director Livestock-MAL, Francis Tsatsia, Director Biosecurity-MAL, Oswald Ramo, Permanent Secretary Supervisor-MAL, Helen Tsatsia, Director, Research-MAL and Food and Agriculture Organisation rep, Statistician Rasmiyya Aliyeva after the meeting at the MAL conference room in Honiara.

PROPOSALS to strengthen the National Statistics Office (NSO) and the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock (MAL) close alliance in Agriculture census was chatted last week.

The dialogue was held at the MAL conference room on Thursday 10 May 2018 with the determination to create a baseline for close collaboration between both Government agencies (NSO & MAL) and that would pave way for the enhancement of Agriculture census across the country.

Government Statistician Douglas Kimi said since Agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economy, it is crucial that update and accurate data are collected to help in policy formulation by policy makers in the future.

He said integrating a close tie with the ministry (MAL) is vital because it will help the NSO to compile accurate statistics in terms of agriculture production in the country.

“That would not only help the NSO in accurate data collection but also help policy makers in the formulation of policies to improve the country’s agriculture sector and socio-economic development,” Mr. Kimi added.

Discussions were also grounded on consideration for the NSO to affiliate with the MAL extension officers in the provinces.

Oswald Ramo, Permanent Secretary Supervising for the MAL while commending the NSO for taking such initiative said the meeting is timely and very important.

“This meeting is important because it will create a reference point where we can build our relation towards improving data collection with regards to Agriculture production in the country,” he said.

Mr. Kimi also informed the MAL delegates on the progress of the first ever National Agriculture Survey Project (NASP) conducted last year and the survey on ‘Big Farms’ which is the second component of the NASP 2017 that is currently progresses.

“The ‘big farms’ data will supplements the data collected from the household based agriculture survey (NASP 2017) that was completed in October last year and the data currently being analysed,” Mr. Kimi said.

The NSO piloted the survey (NASP) since last year under its 20 years National Strategy-National Statistics Development Strategy 2016/17-2035 (NSDS).

NASP 2017 was the country’s first ever national agriculture survey and thus covers all selected household agricultural holdings.

The survey is intended to assist the government through its responsible ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock (MAL) with planning to improve agriculture production in the country.

The survey will provide benchmark data on land use, type of agriculture and related activities, structure of agricultural holdings and their main characteristics, to support the strategic plans and programmes of the Solomon Islands on agriculture production and investment as well as to support development of some Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators in the agriculture sector.

The second nationwide Agriculture census was projected for 2019.

Source: SINSO Media