Global Strategy issues handbook on AGRIS Methodology

The Agricultural Integrated Survey (AGRIS) is a farm-based modular ten-year sample survey programme, developed by the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics that aims to address the challenges that most developing countries face in generating  quality and disaggregated data on the technical, economic, environmental and social dimensions of agricultural holdings, using a cost-effective approach.

The AGRIS Handbook, a valuable toolkit for the Agricultural Integrated Survey, has been developed and it presents the rationale of the system, focusing on the new needs and challenges in surveying farms in the 21st century. In this handbook, the link with SDGs is acknowledged, as the proposed AGRIS Generic Questionnaires will generate basic data for monitoring directly four SDG indicators and provide essential information for another 15 SDG indicators.

The AGRIS methodology consists of five modules, one annual “Core” module and 4 rotating modules on: Economy; Labour; Production methods and the environment; and Machinery, equipment and assets. The AGRIS toolkit presents a list of the data items that are covered in each module, the questionnaires together with their corresponding methodological notes, which provide measurement objectives, statistical units, reference periods, as well as the main definitions and corresponding indicators, including links to the respective SDGs. In addition to paper questionnaires, the AGRIS toolkit proposes the CAPI version, developed with the Survey Solution software.

As AGRIS is a sample-based modular system, the sampling strategy has a great role to play on the quality of the results. The recommended sampling strategy for AGRIS is presented in detail in the handbook, including useful links to R-packages on sampling. It proposes solutions for different countries’ situations, ranging from the use of recent agricultural census data as a sampling frame for AGRIS modules to solutions for countries without an up-to date frame.

The use of standard international classifications is another key principle considered in AGRIS, as it ensures the data produced is useful over time, comparable across countries and consistent with other statistical data sets. Another useful application included in the toolkit is the AGRIS Question Bank, which links the questionnaires against the corresponding concepts and definitions as well as the related indicators and classifications.