Agricultural Statistics For Rural Development

Agricultural statistics programs typically focus on the production and sale of agricultural products. Thus, only units with farming activities are "in scope". The farm population is declining relatively and absolutely in developed countries. Rural employment solutions will not come from agricultural development. Obtaining information for rural development via farm surveys will provide an increasingly narrow picture of rural society. Farm survey information will be most useful for rural analysis when it is presented in its rural context. Some on-farm and within-farm-household diversification will increase rural employment. This should be measured early to allow policy analysts to understand the type of unit that "adopts" such diversification strategies. Proposals to encourage these strategies will benefit from this key information. There is no special category of "rural statistics". The degree of rurality is a variable that should be included in all datasets. The challenge for a rural statistics program is to portray the data in each dataset in a rural-friendly fashion. If an agricultural statistics agency were to develop a program to present national data in rural-friendly way, an adjustment in thinking may be required for some staff. However, an agricultural statistics agency may be the only group with the interest to do the job.

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Agriculture and Rural Working Paper 49

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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