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Namibia, FAO team up to address data gaps in agriculture and fisheries

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) last week teamed up to strengthen the local agriculture and fisheries sectors through data-driven initiatives, to address existing data gaps.

The collaboration will see the two organisations team up on two critical projects — the development of the Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS), and the creation of the Census for Agriculture project document.

The SPARS project, which has a focus on evidence-based decision-making and policy formulation, targets the agricultural sector with the necessary information to tackle pressing challenges such as food insecurity, climate change, and sustainable development, while the Census for Agriculture project will conduct a comprehensive assessment of Namibia’s agricultural landscape through extensive data collection, providing valuable insights into agricultural practices, land usage, livestock, crop production, and related socioeconomic factors.

In a statement, NSA Statistician General, Alex Shimuafeni underscored the significance of statistical data in shaping Namibia’s future while emphasizing the need for reliable, comprehensive, and up-to-date data to develop rural areas and the agriculture sector effectively.

By adopting a data-driven approach, SPARS seeks to foster sustainable agriculture, address agricultural challenges, and promote rural development and inclusivity, he said.

Assistant FAO Representative Ferdinard Mwapopi emphasized the pivotal role of agricultural censuses in shaping agricultural development, policy formulation, and overall food security in Namibia.

The upcoming Population and Housing Census is set to identify Namibian households involved in agriculture, paving the way for an expanded Agriculture Census.