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Solomon Islands NAS report to launch in 2nd quarter of 2018

THE report of the first ever National Agriculture Survey 2017 project (NAS 2017) that is approaching end of field enumerations this month (October) will be available and launched in the second quarter of 2018.
National Project Coordinator, Charles Oloka told participants who attended the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) Annual Staff Conference held at the Ginger Beach in West Honiara, fortnight ago (19th September 2017).
The annual summit was held in accordance with the MAL Corporate Plan 2015 – 19, the Department of Agriculture Planning and Land Use (DAPLU) under the theme, “Pioneering effective deliberation for enriched and operational agriculture productions.”
All MAL Chief Field Officers, Officers In-Charge, Senior Field Officers, Senior Planning Officers, National Agriculture Survey Project Coordinator, Head of Urban Agriculture, Human Resource Managers, Information Officers, Financial Controllers, DAPLU Directors and Honiara-based DAPLU Staffs and other senior government workers attended the weeklong summit.
While recognising the MAL, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) on behalf of the Government Statistician for the great assistance rendered in planning and implementation of the survey project, Mr Oloka said, the survey (NAS 2017) is progressing well and now in the final round, that is week eight (this week).
He said data entry is continuing, with data processing to be led by SPC, assisted by National Statistics Office (NSO) consultants.
Mr Oloka also thanked all Solomon Islands Government (SIG) line ministries, NGOs and partners in the Steering, Technical and Users committees.
“NAS 2017 report should be launch in the quarter 2 of 2018,” he said.
Mr Oloka said the aim of the survey is to ensure field enumerators collect data that will confidently assist the government through the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock with its planning to improve agriculture production in the Solomon Islands.
He added that NAS 2017 will also provide benchmark data on land use, type of agriculture and related activities, structure of agricultural holdings and their main characteristics, to support the strategic plans and programmes of the Solomon Islands on agriculture production and investment as well as to support development of some Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators in the agriculture sector.
66 field enumerators deployed in all nine provinces including Honiara to collect information/data with the help of 22 supervisors to enter data collected into the processing system.
Mr Oloka said, to further support the household enumeration targeting household agriculture holdings, 19 separate field Officers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) will be deployed shortly into the field to collect supplementary data targeting commercial or “big”farms.
“These big farms will be enumerated completely and will supplement the data collected from the households. Enumeration on “big” farms will soon commence but that would depend much on the availability of funds,” Project Coordinator, Oloka stated.
The survey covers both sample areas in the rural and urban sectors, approximately 80 per cent of coverage in rural areas, 10 per cent each of coverage in both Honiara (capital city) and provincial centres of the provinces.
For the NAS 2017, the NSO adopts a two stage stratified/arranged sampling methodology/approach. This practically means that all the ten provinces of the country are covered (“stratified”).
The two stages of selection include;
(1). A random sample of census areas are selected using probability relative to household size (176 Enumeration Areas (EAs) covered) and (2). For each sample area selected, 24 agricultural households are selected through a random process known as circular systematic sampling. This will give an expected sample size of 4,224 agricultural households.
The NSO is grateful and thankful to the public and survey respondents for the cooperation received so far in household canvassing by the survey teams in the work field.
However, for clarification of why some households are selected and others are missed – firstly it is a sample survey as opposed to a census count (complete coverage) – a sample involves only a part of the population.
The process in sample, selection is to give equal chance to every household in the country to be selected, and only around a 5 per cent sample of households in the country is selected.
There is no biasness in how the 5 per cent sample was selected, and the process used is random and done in two stages of operations which should give a self-weighting sample.
The two stage stratified samples are the recommended sample design used in the world for this type of survey subject (agriculture statistics) for a developing country such as the Solomon Islands, and is in line with what the United Nations has recommended.
As the selection is random and done in two stages with known probabilities of selection there are no biasness involved, and the data should produce unbiased statistics in the analysis stage.
The project is supported by the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) with the Technical support from Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
Solomon Islands National Statistics Office (SINSO) facilitates the project (NAS 2017) under its 20 years road map – the National Statistics Development Strategy (NSDS) 2015-16 to 2035.

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