Masters In Agricultural Statistics
Agriculture plays a central and strategic role in the development of most of the developing countries, more so in case of African countries. It is crucial not primarily because it contributes immensely to GDP but because a large part of population depend upon Agriculture. Indeed, it is the key to economic growth, increased incomes, improved living standards, poverty eradication, and enhanced food security.
The importance of the agricultural sector demands that its planning, management, and monitoring be based on sound evidence. This, in turn, requires the sustained availability of comprehensive, reliable, up-to-date, and consistent statistical data. In addition, these data need to be in a form that renders them intelligible and practicable for a variety of users. Criticality of the sector puts new and pressing data requirements to inform policy on emerging development issues such as food vs. bio-fuels, climate change and global warming, environment, and food security.
In response to the many challenges of meeting user needs for agricultural statistics in developing countries, a Global Strategy for Improving Agricultural and Rural Statistics was produced and endorsed in February 2010 by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC).
The purpose of the Global Strategy is to provide a framework and methodology that will help improve the availability and quality of national and international food and agricultural statistics, to guide policy analysis and decision making in the 21st century.
The scope of agricultural statistics based on the broader conceptual framework includes aspects of forestry, fisheries, and land and water use. This expanded purview is required to address the merging and often closely related economic, social, and environmental issues faced by policy makers.
Forestry and agro-forestry relate both to the production of forest products and to the interface between forestry and agriculture as an area of environmental impact. Aquaculture and capture fisheries are important components of both food supply and security and household income. All aquaculture and capture production, employment, and food security information will be within the scope of agricultural statistics.
The scope of agricultural statistics include use of water for agricultural purposes, including irrigation and other uses, the source of irrigation water, the land under irrigation, the irrigation method, and the resulting production.
Agricultural development provides a pathway out of poverty and hunger for the rural poor. Rural households, therefore, fall within the scope of agricultural statistics. Other statistical units required by the Global Strategy are enterprises that service agriculture such as input suppliers, processors, and transporters of agricultural goods. While these economic units are outside the conceptual framework for agriculture, they do provide information on prices and quantities that are important for economic and environmental accounts
Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Statistics, offered by the Eastern Africa Statistical Training Centre, is a minimum of two years programme enabling students to become competent Agricultural Statisticians in the agricultural, social, economic and socio-economic aspects of a national statistical system. At the end of the programme the prospective Agricultural Statisticians will have the following competences:
- Assess statistically Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries sector issues and their impact on the economy of a nation;
- Apply knowledge and skills as well as understanding of complex statistical issues of development problems, which concern policy makers and decision makers in Agricultural Statistics.
- Apply statistical and analytical techniques in statistics production.
- Employ agricultural statistics in assessing food security aspects of society.
- Employ economic statistics in assessing economic performance.
- Apply socio-economic statistics for assessing cross-cutting issues in society.
- Manage Statistical office.
- Conduct statistical research addressing food production issues of a nation.