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M25 million agric census begins

The Minister Development Planning Selibe Mochoboroane

March 5, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

THE M25 million agricultural census that was launched in July last year finally roars into life on Sunday, the Ministry of Development Planning has said.

The ministry has appealed to the chiefs, community leaders and the public at large to support and work harmoniously with officers for the success of this national initiative.

In partnership with the Bureau of Statistics (BOS), the census, with the spending estimates of M25 million will run throughout the 10 districts of Lesotho from March 7 to April 13.

Agricultural Census is an international initiative by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) meant to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring and evaluating development in agriculture to address the challenge of food insecurity.

The objective of the census is to provide data from evidence based planning and policy making processes as well as monitoring and evaluation of agricultural programmes and projects.

In addition, the census is important in providing information on agricultural holdings, with focus on small administrative units, providing benchmarks to improve current crops and livestock statistics as well as to provide sampling frames for follow-up agricultural sample surveys.

Among other things, the census will provide data on agricultural planning and policy formulation, assessing food security and the rule of gender in agriculture.

“The agricultural census will cover activities on agricultural households and commercial farms under different systems of land tenure in the administrative districts, rural settlements including four ecological zones of lowlands, foothills, mountain and Senqu River Valley,” the Minister of Development Planning Selibe Mochoboroane said on Tuesday.

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To achieve the outcome of the census, the ministry undertook the pilot project in July and August last year to validate and test the processes, tools and equipment to be used during the main census data collection scheduled for Sunday.

This was further done to identify some of the challenges that may affect the processes and address them on time in order to produce quality and timely statistics.

During its launch last year, Mr Mochoboroane revealed that the government will spend M25 million, coming directly from its coffers as there will not be any financial assistance from any of Lesotho’s development partners.

Since the establishment of the BOS in 1965, Lesotho has been undertaking agricultural census every 10 years starting with the 1969/70 agricultural census. The most recent census was taken in 2009/10 and it covered urban areas, whereas, the other censuses only dealt with rural settlements.



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