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Published 11 Dec, 2009 12:00am

Sixth agriculture census from 14th

LAHORE, Dec 10 The first phase of the sixth Agriculture Census will commence from Dec 14.

The Agriculture Census Organisation (ACO), an attached department of the statistics division, has completed planning and preparatory work for the decennial census, Statistics Division Secretary Tariq Shafiq Khan said on Thursday.

Methodology, field operation, sample design of the census, National Certainty Holding (NCH), questionnaire, data processing, tabulation and publication plans have been finalised in the light of the guidelines approved by a steering committee consisting of representatives of federal and provincial government departments, universities and research institutes. Progressive farmers of the province or federating unit concerned are non-official members of the committee.

Enumeration or field operation in Punjab and Sindh would be completed from Dec 14 this year to Jan 31 next under the first phase. Hot areas of Balochistan and NWFP would be covered under the second phase, while data collection in cold areas of the two provinces besides Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir would be carried out in the third phase.

Khan said the primary purpose of the Agriculture Census 2010 would be to assess the agricultural development during the last decade. Data generated through the census would be of immense importance and would be used in future as benchmark by policymakers, planners and researchers.

The census would provide very useful information about agricultural resources of the country and the state of their use as well as on different facets of agriculture, viz. land use, land holding, fragmentation of holdings, cropping pattern, livestock, casual and permanent labour, irrigation by different sources, number of fruit trees of bearing and non bearing age, use of fertilisers and agricultural machinery, family members employed for agriculture work, education status of family members and secondary sources of family income etc.Agricultural Census Commissioner Liaqat Ali Shah Hamdani said his organisation had been conducting agriculture related censuses under the legal cover of Agricultural Census Act since 1958 and so far conducted five censuses in 1960, 1972, 1980, 1990 and 2000.

The sixth agricultural census has been planned to be conducted in the year 2010 in accordance with the programme of World Census of Agriculture laid down by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The agriculture census 2010 would be jointly carried out by stakeholders from federal and provincial governments. Presided over by the district coordination officer of each district or tehsil headquarters of Punjab and Sindh, meetings had been held for the purpose.

All district revenue officers attended the meetings besides senior ACO officers. ACO master trainer would later impart training on field staff of provincial revenue departments who would be census enumerators in the mouza of the district concerned.

After training, the field revenue staff would be mobilised for enumeration in selected mouzas and urban blocks of each district. During the first 10 days of each phase, enumerators would prepare household lists for assigned mouzas. Master trainers would then select samples of households for enumeration. The field staff would fill the questionnaire through direct interviews of selected households.

Field operation or enumeration would be carried out by provincial land revenue departments in settled areas, while the job would be done by field assistants, veterinary assistants and teachers in unsettled areas under the supervision of ACO officers, said Hamdani.

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