Fisheries, livestock to count in digital mapping of agriculture

Dhaka,  Thu,  21 September 2017
Published : 13 Jul 2017, 00:53:07

Fisheries, livestock to count in digital mapping of agriculture

Govt undertakes Tk 3.38b census project
Jasim Uddin Haroon

Fisheries and livestock will count for the first time in Bangladesh's agriculture census for which the government has approved a comprehensive project.

An army of 150,000 enumerators and over 24,000 supervisors will be outsourced for the census that will use a latest technology. They will come from among the unemployed educated youths. They may get Tk 12,000 each for 20 days' survey work.

The temporary census staffs will make digital maps by going door to door to collect data.

Intelligent character recognition (ICR), an advanced system in data capturing, will be used in the modern-day census.

Earlier, there was no census on fisheries and livestock in the country and the figures available pertaining to it were usually based on relevant surveys.

The national statistical organisation--Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS)--will conduct the census under the statistical act 2013 which stipulated that agricultural census must incorporate the two key vital areas of agriculture.

The ECNEC approved Tuesday a Tk 3.38 billion census project styled agriculture (crops, fisheries and livestock) census 2018. Around 70 per cent of the allocation will be spent on data collection.

A senior official familiar with the developments told the FE Wednesday that the BBS has set May 2018 as the tentative time to begin formally country's fifth agricultural census.

The preliminary results would be published three months after the census in which ICR technology will be used for speedy calculation.

He said the 20-day census would begin simultaneously across the country to collect data on the vital economic area that contributes more than 14 per cent to the national economy.

There were four census conducted by the BBS earlier but those were mainly concentrated on crops and their acreage.

This time around, the survey will bring detailed picture of fisheries and livestock. The cultivable lands, area of fisheries, the number of livestock and their respective households will be highlighted in it.

The census will count people and institutions involved with the three key segments of agriculture.

Agricultural affairs like irrigation, machinery, insecticides and fertiliser being used by the farmers will also be included in the questionnaires to get a comprehensive picture of agriculture in the country.

Another official at the BBS said the census will follow the latest methodology prepared by Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) although the UN agency has yet to get involved with the project.

During the previously conducted agricultural census held in 2008, the FAO provided technical assistance for improving the quality of data.

"We expect the FAO will provide the same assistance," he said.

The BBS conducted the first agriculture census in 1977, second in 1983, third in 1996 and the fourth in 2008.

However, the census on land conducted in the then Pakistan period in 1958 was believed first agricultural census in the subcontinent, people at the BBS told the FE.
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