PBS to conduct 7th agricultural census costing Rs650m

PESHAWAR  -  Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), following United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) guidelines, is set to conduct the 7th Ag­ricultural Census nationwide, encom­passing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its merged districts. Utilizing digital tech­nology, the initiative aims to integrate agricultural, livestock, and agro ma­chinery on scientific lines.

Despite the country’s limited finan­cial resources, a substantial budget of Rs. 650 million has been allocated for this crucial census. In a special meet­ing chaired by senior PBS member Mu­hammad Sarwar Gondal in Peshawar, high-ranking officials from various de­partments discussed the comprehen­sive strategy, including large-scale Agri holdings and process re-engineering, mirroring the success of the 2019 COV­ID Census.

PBS has established 157 Agricul­tural Census Support Centers for seamless field operation execution, with provincial stakeholders provid­ing support. The data collected will contribute to evidence-based poli­cy-making, essential for efficient re­source management. Provincial Fo­cal Persons’ meetings have been held, emphasizing broader involvement and wider acceptability.

M Sarwar Gondal highlighted the census’s significance, providing bench­mark data for policy planning to meet the food and fibre needs of Pakistan’s population. Engaging partner organ­izations and provincial stakeholders ensure diversified perspectives and re­liable data in the agriculture sector.

The 7th Agricultural Census, planned with a newly developed sampling de­sign, will be the first integrated digital exercise in Pakistan. The use of tablets, digitized maps, SMS gateways, and call centres will streamline data collection. Training venues equipped with multi­media facilities aim for standardized census concepts.

Provincial stakeholders pledged co­operation for the successful comple­tion of this national task, recognizing its importance in evidence-based pol­icy-making for the agriculture sector, which contributes significantly to the national GDP and employment.

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