Gov’t Acquired Benchmark Information on Agriculture

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THE National Government for the first time in history since the 1970s now had an important and proper report with key benchmark data and information on agriculture development and related sub-sector activities across the country.

This was after the National Statistics Office (NSO) in the Ministry of Finance and Treasury in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) successfully launched the first-ever Solomon Islands National Agriculture Survey (NAS) 2017 report on Thursday 14 November in Honiara after its successful implementation.

The report contains facts on agriculture development and challenges faced by farmers nationwide.

Implemented in 2017, the agriculture report indeed another development and statistical milestone for the country and its people.
The report for the first time captured key benchmark data and information on agriculture and related sub-sector activities such as fisheries, aquaculture, and forestry across all the nine provinces.

Government Statistician and Census Commissioner, Douglas Kimi said: “This information will now be used to support evidence-based policies and plans, not only in agriculture but also in other sectors including our national development strategy in improving the delivery of public goods and services to our people.”

Mr. Kimi said the sur­vey covered all selected household agricultural holdings across the country with the purpose to assist the government through the Ministry of Agricul­ture & Livestock (MAL) in its strategic policy formulations and plan­ning to improve agriculture pro­duction and development in the country based on key findings and data collected as in the report.

“Since ‘information is power’, every time a statistical indicator is produced, and if it is applied appropriately, it is expected to influence or guide our development goals, right down to village level, through evidence-based decision-making, policy, and monitoring and evaluation.

If data is not used appropriately, then it will be meaningless and ineffective for policy to be effective on the ground,” Mr. Kimi emphasized.

However, Mr. Kimi added that the National Agriculture Survey 2017 is not only a key activity outcome for MAL, or a key initiative of the government, but it is also a key activity of the National Statistics Development Strategy (NSDS) 2015-16 to 2035.

“The NSDS 2015-16 to 2035 is our overarching statistical road-map with a mission to revitalise and reform our country’s national statistical system and to ensure a cohesive process is established to facilitate the on-going supply of statistical information to inform the governments’ National Development Strategy (NDS), fiscal and monetary policies, and other sectoral policies of the government.

“With immerging global statistical challenges such as the rise of the ‘big data revolution’ and pressures for the National Statistics Office (NSO) to address the indicators for the United Nation’s (UN’s) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), mush effort and pressure is also placed on the NSO, which also demands much resource and technical capacity, now and into the future. The NAS 2017 data will also support us collate key indicators to also support the SDGs for our country,” Mr. Kimi said.

Mr. Kimi then thanked the Government (SIG), World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for the technical and funding support provided to the project. He also acknowledged the MAL for their joint leadership and support from the start to the end of the project and also thanked all the Senior Staff and field officers involved and in supporting the NSO.

Mr. Kimi also used the opportunity and thanked the Government of Australia through the Pacific Community (SPC) for funding the support for statistics advisory facility that has also played a key role in this project. He also acknowledged the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance & Treasury (MoFT) Mr. Mckinnie Dentana and also thanked MoFT Minister Hon. Harry Kuma for his leadership and ongoing support to the NSO and the staff of the NSO for their support and commitment towards the project.

The public is encouraged to get a copy of the report from the National Statistics Office.

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Lynda Wate
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