PBS to use tablets for agriculture census

PBS (Pakistan Bureau of Statistics) has decided to use electronic tablets for the first time in history to conduct that agricultural census in the country. The pilot project will start from district Sahiwal in the start of 2017.

Asif Bajwa, chief statistician at Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, said, “First time in the country’s history, the PBS is going to get data on electronic tablets so its transmission and processing will be done electronically. It will be biggest exercise as under the agriculture census sample the data is collected from around 250000 to 300000 respondents from all over the country and its pilot project will be started from this ongoing month from Sahiwal,”

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The decision implies three different censuses would be merged into a single one. Before this, four different kinds of surveys related to agriculture were conducted. These included the agriculture census, agriculture machinery census, livestock census and Mouza (Village) census. Initially, agriculture census organization (ACO) was responsible for conducting these surveys. The organization was established in the year 1958 under the legal cover of Agriculture consensus Act 1958. Since December 23, 2011, ACO has been merged with PBS as Agricultural Census Wing (ACW).

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The first ever survey that ACO conducted was in the year 1972, it was to be conducted in 1970, but on account of 1970 the War, the survey was delayed. As per planning, the year ending with digit 0 was for conducting agriculture census, the year ending with digit 4 was for Agriculture Machinery census, the year ending with  6 was for Live stock Census and the year ending with digit eight was for Moza census. Till now four surveys for first three categories have been conducted, along with eight surveys of the Moza census.

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The use of electronic tools such as tablets will make it easy to collect and save the larger data as taking information and merging it for three major categories of agriculture, at the same time, would be possible. The modern methodology powered by technology would be efficient not only regarding other resources but only for the time, too.

As for as data collection practices in other agricultural countries are concerned, they follow different practices. Like in India, the data on agriculture is collected from the Land record offices of a particular region. In the same way, different statistical divisions at the local level are present in Australia that ensure the correct data collection from very basic level.

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Electronic tools such as tablets would undoubtedly enhance the data collection ability and accessing of required insights for predicting future outcomes. There are other factors that play an important role for instance. Like designing questions in a way that data analysis becomes easy. In different countries for example, in Australia, the questions that ask about the production of different commodities are assisted with commodity codes or numbers so that respective electronic tool easily analyses the answers and formulate conclusions accordingly.