The Global Office (GO) of the Global Strategy to improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics (GSARS) successfully held the 7th meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) on 26-27 February 2018 at FAO headquarters in Rome.
Being the last SAC meeting for the first phase of the GSARS, the forum presented a great occasion to acknowledge and thank all the SAC Members for their contribution in maintaining a high-quality standard for the research outputs throughout the entire duration of the project.
Mr. Flavio Bolliger, GSARS Research Coordinator, opened the meeting and presented the achievements, current status of the research programme and intermediate results of the ongoing research topics. The SAC members provided a series of valuable recommendations for finalizing the activities by end of 2018 and the following topics thoroughly discussed:
- Measuring Decent Work and Youth Employment in Agriculture;
- Agri-environmental Statistics and Indicators;
- Master Sampling Frames for Fishery;
- Monitoring and Measuring Sustainable Agriculture – SDG 2.4.1;
- Farm Typology;
- Reviewing the Minimum Set of Core Data (MSCD).
On the second day of the meeting, Mr. Naman Keita, former FAO expert, chaired a panel discussion on the revision of the Minimum Set of Core Data (MSCD) in the context of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The panellists exchanged their views on the emerging factors and requirements that would guide the update of the MSCD. In conclusion, it was recognized that the revision process should take into account the data needs to monitor SDGs.
Mr. Christophe Duhamel, GSARS Coordinator, concluded the meeting with a presentation. He provided a picture of the overall achievements and challenges faced during phase one of the GSARS and requested recommendations from the SAC members on potential research topics for a possible second phase of the project. A series of domains were identified in the realm of agricultural and rural statistics, including the following:
- Use of administrative data and reporting systems;
- Use of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing;
- Use of Crowd-sourcing and Big Data;
- Collection of farm gate prices;
- Improvements of methods for producing Rural Statistics.
The participants agreed that the second phase of the GSARS should mainly focus on providing technical assistance to countries, and on developing training material for the various research topics already completed. The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to the chair and the participants.