Farm typology: The challenges of implementing an integrated farm classification in developing countries
Format: IPS Abstract
Monday 17 July 4 p.m. - 5:25 p.m. (Canada/Eastern)
The farm typology (FT) is a key tool in the national integrated agricultural statistical systems and represents multidimensional classification of farms, where more than one classification variables are used to put farms in homogeneous groups. The growing interest in policy issues, such as food security, productivity of small-scale food producers etc., leads to the need to identify and analyse the different farm types to be targeted by the agricultural policies implemented at national and regional level. This requires for even more and disaggregated presentations of agricultural data which in many developing countries is already scares.
To guide countries in the process of policy-relevant classification of farms the Global Strategy to improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics (GSARS) sets internationally agreed methods to build farm typology. The core features of the proposed methods are (i) the representation of the entire population of agricultural holdings in the country, (ii) the use of internationally recognised concepts and definitions and (iii) the use of existing official statistical data. The development of FT at national level in several developing countries under the GSARS II phase aims at improving the data quality and promoting integrated agricultural statistical systems. The first question to be answered is whether the necessary data is available in the agricultural surveys and censuses of these countries. While the expected answer would rather be negative, the examination of data regularly collected for the needs to describe the agricultural campaigns proved the opposite.
This paper describes the approaches used in the studied countries considering the quality issues of the available statistical data, of which the most important identified are the undercoverage of units and activities, missing data, and measurement errors. The definition of the farm economic size as one of the farm typology dimensions represents the most data requiring element and therefore the biggest challenge of the study, together with the presentation of disaggregated data. The problems encountered in valuing the agricultural production and in particular the livestock production requires further reflection and an adaptation of the methodology to the specific agricultural context of the countries to better capture and estimate the farm size.
The first results of the FT in the studied countries that will be presented in the paper contribute to the improvement of the statistical process by adapting the questionnaires, strengthening the data editing rules, and producing key indicators at farm type level which is very welcome by national and international data users.