Centre urges states to firm up agricultural data collection

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New Delhi, Jul 8 (UNI) The Centre today urged the State Agriculture and Statistics Departments to work for higher precision in data collection and its timely compilation.

Inaugurating the National Workshop on Improvement of Agricultural Statistics here today, Secretary Agriculture and Cooperation, Dr P K Mishra stressed the need for a reliable data so that decisions on policies and their implementation can be taken with all necessary information in hand.

Agriculture Secretary also appealed to the States to be more cautious, systematic and meticulous in arriving at crop estimates to reduce variations in data over successive estimates of area and production of crops.

He also mentioned that at a time two different sets of data on same crop and same period are received from different agencies with wide variations. He advised states to have better coordination and data validation before submitting the data.

Dr Mishra expressed concern at the delay in collection, compilation, collation and release of data on agricultural censuses by some States and emphasised that delay in compilation of agricultural census renders the data useless for planning and policy formulations.

He informed that the Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI) has completed a pilot study to develop an alternative methodology to estimate the area and production of horticulture crops. He also said that an Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Principal Adviser, Dr S M Jharwal has submitted its report on operationalisation of the National Policy for Farmers. It will be sent to all the states for adoption and implementation in a given time frame.

In his address, Dr Jharwal gave details of steps being taken for timely compilation of data on various farm related activities and informed that as per the latest estimates, the contribution of agricultural sector in the total GDP stood at 17.8 per cent during 2007-08. The agricultural sector recorded a healthy growth rate of 4.5 per cent during 2007-08 compared to 3.8 per cent during 2006-07.

For the financial year 2008-09, Government has increased the plan outlay of the agricultural sector by 20 per cent. This combined with the additional measures, including the loan waiver scheme for farmers, are likely to have positive impact on the agricultural sector.

The two-day conference is being attended by statistical experts in the central government and state secretaries of agriculture, and other concerned central and state officers with collection and compilation of farm statistics.

UNI BBS KK KN1828

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