Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

Timely Availability of Reliable Data Vital for Appropriate Policy Making; Workshop on Agricultural Statistics Inaugurated

INVC,, Delhi,, Timely availability of reliable data has become very important in view of number initiatives taken by the government in 11th Five Year Plan to boost agricultural production and enhance farm income. Stating this at the national workshop on improving agricultural statistics here today, the Principal Advisor in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. K.V. Krishnan said, “Considerable financial assistance is being provided to States under different schemes, and we need to capture the impact on production and productivity of various crops. Often we find that the impact does not get reflected through the data States provide to us. I would emphasize that the States must make systematic efforts for improving data on area, yield and production of crops. For this purpose, the Central Government is already contributing funds for collection of data relating to area under crops, Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs), cost of cultivation, etc.” Referring to variations in the area and productions of estimates of crops over successive advance and final estimates, the Principal Advisor emphasized on the need to be more cautious, systematic and meticulous in arriving at estimates. He suggested the participants to finalize area and production estimates on the basis of proper field remuneration and assessment of ground realities on yield levels. These estimates also need to be corroborated from other relevant inputs such as rainfall, prices of agricultural commodities, market arrivals etc., Dr. Krishnan added. On the lack of reliable data on the horticulture sector, which is expected to play a dominant role in overall development of agriculture in the country in the coming years, the Principal Advisor said, “Inadequate and unsatisfactory data collection mechanism is causing difficulties in proper evaluation of the performance and assessment of the impact of the schemes/programmes initiated by the government for the development of this sector.” Dr. Krishnan said, “The Ministry of agriculture has introduced a scheme on Forecasting Agricultural Output using Space, Agro-meteorology, and Land Based Observations (FASAL) for supplementing the existing mechanism of bringing out area and production estimates by making use of modern technology. The scheme is being implemented in partnership with the Department of Space, India Meteorological Department and the Institute of Economic Growth. It will be of immense use to States in providing an alternative source for cross validation of data collected through conventional systems. This endeavour will certainly result in bringing out more reliable and firm estimates of area and production of major crops in the country.” The two day workshop is being attended by senior officers from Central Government, Secretaries of State Agriculture Departments, Directors of Economics and Statistics, Horticulture, and Land Records.

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