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Namibia`s agriculture and rural sectors to receive data boost.

FAO and NSA have collaborated to develop Namibia`s Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS) as the country prepares to conduct its agriculture census.

The signing ceremony of the development of the Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS) between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) took place in Windhoek.

The signing ceremony for SPARS, comes at a time when demands for agricultural statistics are increasing not only at national level but also at regional and international levels.

At a national level, an increasing need to harmonize and consolidate agricultural statistics in the country has become a matter of developmental significance as data is widely viewed as an accelerator for more targeted agricultural interventions.

This aspect was highlighted by Alex Shimuafeni, the CEO and Statistician General of the NSA. According to Alex, Namibia is shifting towards leading the integration of the fusion technology and data, and digitalization, which will involve embarking on a radical statistical revolution that could open space for open data policy to better manage public data source integration.

Alex further stated that, to enable the country to meet growing demand for high quality of close to real time and accessible agricultural statistics, there is a need to develop statistical strategies that will aid as planning and implementation tools

Farayi Zimudzi, FAO Representative in Namibia stated that the project aims to put in place SPARS implementation mechanisms and a long-term and sustainable funding for agricultural statistical system.

According to Zimudzi; in the long run, the project will also contribute to improving the availability, quality and accessibility of data and statistics pertaining to the food and agriculture sectors and all underlying dimensions including environmental, social, economic, and governance aspects of the sector.

The SPARS project will be managed and operated by FAO Namibia in partnership with NSA and other key stakeholders (public, private and civil society) in the agriculture sector, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform.