Tanzania completes second National Annual Agricultural Statistics Sample Survey Data Collection

Data collection for the second round of the Annual Agricultural Statistics Service (AASS) in Tanzania has been completed.

Field enumeration began shortly after the beginning of the new crop year on 7 October 2017 and continued for 30 days. The task of editing and analyzing data is currently underway with a targeted publication date of March 2018 for the 2016/2017 AASS. The first round of the AASS was completed in 2016 and the publication can be found on the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) website (www.nbs.go.tz) under publications/agricultural statistics. The AASS aims to collect and disseminate annual agricultural production information on Tanzania’s crop and livestock commodities. Availability of quality agriculture statistics facilitates planning, setting of achievable targets, making decisions on a rational basis, and monitoring and evaluating the impact of agricultural policies and programs.

The task of designing and implementing the annual agricultural survey in Tanzania was led by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Office of the Chief Government Statistician of Zanzibar (OCGS), with support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, other ministries and technical assistance from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). At the onset of planning for the implementation of the AASS, a need for a reliable sampling frame was identified, as information on farm operators were not readily available for consistent monitoring or sampling. A point sample area frame provided a quick method to select a statistically sound sample to identify farm operators and obtain crops and livestock data.

The sampling design used was a stratified simple random sample. Each of the 30 regions were divided into 5 strata: Forestland, Grassland, Cropland, Wetland, and Settlement. Sample sizes were calculated using summary information from the previous round of the survey, and known region and strata acreage (excluding game park acreage). Sample sizes for both survey rounds were just over 21,000 points, with 500-1,000 points per region. The GIS staff from NBS and OCGS selected the AASS sample points using ArcGIS satellite tools. The Regional Center of Mapping Resources for Development (http://rcmrd.org/), a free land cover product which provided coverage of the entire country (Mainland and Zanzibar) was used for satellite imagery.

A total of 600 enumerators, hired from local regions, were employed. Enumerators located sample points using coordinates downloaded to handheld GPS units. With the assistance of local village leaders, operators of the land at these points were identified and interviewed. Enumerators collected data about the field containing the point as well as data about the entire farm, including cropland and livestock on the questionnaire.

In the framework of the implementation of the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics, the Government of Tanzania in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), USDA and AfDB initiated the process of improving the agricultural statistics system of the country through the Strengthening Agricultural and Rural Statistics Program. The AASS is one of the products of this collaboration and the summary methodology provides a map for future point area frame use.