The Global Strategy Supports Area Frame Data Analysis in Ethiopia

The Central Statistical Agency (CSA) of Ethiopia has been testing the applicability and adoptability of the Area Frame (AF) to improve agricultural statistics in the country.

In this regard, the CSA has been conducting pilot studies on different scales since 2008-09 during the main agricultural season (Meher season). Based on lessons learnt from these exercises, the last pilot survey was conducted in two selected areas of the country (West Tigray and North Wollo) in 2014-15.  The survey was supported by a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “Statistics from Space – Piloting opportunities in Ethiopia to leverage space-based imagery to improve agricultural statistics and decision support systems in sub-Saharan Africa”.  As the data was not analysed, the Global Strategy in collaboration with the CSA, took the initiative to carry out the analysis based on the outcomes of the mission undertaken in December 2016.

Following a thorough analysis of the data, the main findings illustrated below were observed:

  • Through the number of pilot AF surveys undertaken by the CSA, it emerged that the staff gained enough experience to conduct the AF survey with minimal technical support.
  • Most of the data errors observed were due to data entry and editing, and CSA staff were able to rectify them.
  • It was noted that the AF estimates were on the higher side as compared to LF Estimates. However, the results do not show any consistency (with respect to zone or crops)  in the estimate differences of the two methods.
  • Overall, there is a decline in the percentage difference between LF and AF estimates in 2014-15 compared to the 2012-13 data.
  • The satellite imagery used to construct the Land Cover Classification System for area frame construction is based on 2006 imagery, which is outdated.

Finally, the following recommendations were made:

  • The CSA should arrange to purchase and employ updated satellite imagery for next AF pilot survey.
  • The sample size of second stage units (i.e. segments) has to be increased.
  • The CSA can start to migrate the estimation of crop area from the LF to the AF approach.  However, they need to work to resolve all issues with the AF estimates, which emerged from previous pilot surveys. In this regard, the CSA will work with development partners and the FAO to mobilize adequate resources.