The Seventh International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS VII) was held in Rome – Italy on 26-28 October 2016.
ICAS VII was organized by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), in close collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). The Conference convened senior agricultural statisticians from all over the world and focused on bringing together research and best practices in the field of agriculture statistics, in response to the changing needs and opportunities for agricultural statistics.
“The advent of the 23rd Agenda for Sustainable Development has been a turning point for the global statistical system” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva at the Opening Ceremony. “As a custodian agency of 21 SDG indicators, FAO will perform three main functions, first, contribute to building countries’ capacity to collect relevant data, second, harmonize the information provided by countries and third, produce global and regional aggregates. However, because these requirements exceed the capacities of National Statistical Systems (NSSs), FAO has been working to put in place the necessary statistical capacity thanks to several important initiatives, implemented by the Global Strategy to improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics. These initiatives include innovative approaches and cost-effective methodologies such as the use of mobile phones for data collection, and remote sensing for building agricultural survey frames,” he added.
“An innovative Survey Toolkit is being implemented: the Agricultural Integrated Survey (AGRIS). This survey programme will allow countries to collect key information on the economic, environmental, social and technical dimensions of farms, including small farms over a cycle of 10 years” concluded Graziano da Silva. Thanks to AGRIS, countries will be able to provide basic data for monitoring the key agricultural SDG indicators. Finally, to support the implementation of AGRIS, FAO is currently establishing a partnership with the World Bank, called GRAInS, which also involves other relevant partners.