The Ministry of Agriculture conducted field test of data recording templates for small-holder farmers in Beleza Village, Central Region from 4 September – 14 December 2020.
According to Mr. Yuel Yonas, Head of the Agricultural Statistics and Socio-economic Surveys Unit in the Ministry, the generation of actual agricultural data and statistics has been difficult due to inconsistency of existing reporting and data recording templates.
To address the problem and determine the actual contribution of the sector to food and nutrition security, economic growth, and improvement of livelihoods, the Ministry of Agriculture updated the existing data recording templates, Mr. Yuel explained.
The field test that incorporated collection and entry of data was conducted by a team of experts from the Planning and Statistics Division of the Ministry and agricultural experts in the Central Region. Data analysis was conducted by experts from the Agricultural Strategic Information Systems Division.
Mr. Yuel explained that the principal objective was to test the updated data collection templates at village level from each household and ultimately to generate quality national-level agricultural statistics.
During the field test, the Ministry piloted the data recording templates with 60 small-holder farmers engaged in crop, vegetable, and livestock production.
Meanwhile, a meeting was arranged on 14 December 2020 to present preliminary findings of the survey to the Ministry’s senior management members, including H.E. Arefaine Berhe, the Minister of Agriculture.
After presentations by representatives of the survey team, the updated versions of the data recording templates were validated and adopted to be used as major tools to gather necessary agricultural data.
During the meeting, the following comments and general directives were also forwarded:
– Pilot field tests should be conducted in the remaining Eritrean regions, while taking agro-ecological conditions and livelihood uniqueness into consideration;
– Guidelines (or definition of variables) of the templates should be prepared;
– The database should be developed into a mobile application;
– Local (traditional) units should be clearly defined (in all fields) and standardized;
– Frequent training programs should be provided to extension staff at village levels;
– The Planning and Statistics Unit should be established and strengthened up to the sub-region level; and
– Measurement and mapping of all agricultural land at village level should be completed prior to surveys in all regions.
It is to be noted that templates for data collection from small and medium commercial households have also been developed and will be tested in the future.
Source: A Monthly Newsletter prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture