The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says that 72 enumerators are to be trained for the National Agricultural Sample Census (NASC).
The Statistician-General of the Federation, Mr Semiu Adeyemi, said this on Thursday, when he declared the training open in Calabar on Thursday for Cross River.
According to Adeyemi, the census is necessary because agriculture accounts for 25 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said agriculture also accounts for 50 per cent of the employment in Nigeria and contributes 45 per cent to the GDP of Cross River.
“As a country, we need to know what we produce, where they are produced and the implements used.
“We should also know the challenges of the farmers who are the producers.
“These pieces of information are what the census will provide.
“The census, which will capture all sectors of agriculture production, after completion, would serve as a base for State and Federal Governments to make sound decisions and plan for agriculture,” Adeyemi said.
He said that the method of the enumeration would be highly advanced.
He said that the entire process would be carried out by digital technology, using digital maps that make the communities easy to locate.
He also said that the implication was that the data from the exercise would be quite reliable.
“This is because the enumerators cannot go to communities not assigned to them or falsify data because they would be monitored digitally from the headquarters in Abuja.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to farmers in various communities that would be enumerated to cooperate with the enumerators when the exercise begins.
“They would be easily identified in their T-shirts that bear the Logo of NBS and Food and Agricultural Organisation,” Adeyemi said.
In a speech, the Statistician-General of Cross River, Mr Joseph Ogar, said the state depended on agriculture and tourism and would benefit immensely from the exercise.
Ogar said the data from the survey would help to resolve the issue regarding which state had the largest forest and highest producers of cocoa, rice and other agricultural produce.
Also, the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Joseph Udida, described the survey as a welcome development for the state, which is agrarian.
Udida further described the exercise as very important.
He said that the absence of data posed serious problem for his ministry in carrying out its functions effectively.
The state Coordinator of the National Orientation Agency, Mr Amissine Ogban, called on the enumerators to discharge their duties with seriousness.
Ogban assured them of their safety in the rural communities.
He said that the State Government was working with traditional rulers to ensure that the exercise was hitchfree.
He called on the youths of the state to embrace agriculture, which he described as a viable enterprise, and shun crime and criminality.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NASC is supposed to be conducted every 10 years but was last conducted 30 years ago due to the lack of finance and logistics. (NAN)