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Regional themes > Agriculture Last update: 2020-11-27  

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The role of Agricultural Information in Poverty Monitoring in Malawi
6. The way forward

Evidently, the PMS recognizes agricultural data and information as crucial to its activities considering that the majority of the Malawian populations are farmers. The data, which the system has so far utilized, has been generated through the routine surveys, which the PMS undertakes. There is need to strengthen the collaboration between production and dissemination of the agricultural date and information and the PMS. This collaboration will ensure that any data gaps, which may be identified within the PMS, can be incorporated within its existing system of generating the information. Through our various channels of information dissemination, like the PMS newsletter, the PMS would be an ideal channel for disseminating all poverty related agricultural data for use by all interested parties.

The PMS has embarked on the construction of a central poverty data bank to form a resource that can be used to analyse trends in socio-economic conditions in the country as representative at the district level and will be shared with all interested parties. Through this process, the PMS will be able to identify other requirements, which currently may not be addressed sufficiently. Data Producers will be required to channel their results to the system, while users will clarify on their data needs.

6.1 Recommendations for Improved Agricultural Data Collection and Dissemination

  1. Coordination amongst institutions involved in producing agricultural data is important to avoid duplication of effort and working at cross-purpose. Also this would ensure consistency and comparability of data collection. To ensure this, it is proposed that a National Steering Committee be established to prepare work programmes for major agricultural surveys.

  2. The wide differences in the estimates of cultivated area from the NSSA and the Customary Land use survey are a manifestation of a lack of coordinated planning of the surveys. To avoid these problems in future it would be instructive that consultations between the Ministry of Agriculture and NSO should start now on the proposed Area sampling Frame.

  3. Most of the reports produced are kept by the institutions, themselves and have limited distribution. In some cases these have been distributed and effective to have a central documentation Center for all important studies conducted in the agricultural sector.

  4. To ensure relevance of agricultural data there is need for increased coordination between data producers and users. Planning meetings of data procedures and major data users will allow a common understanding of policy issues and related data requirements. It will also enhance dissemination of agricultural data.

  5. Institutional strengthening is required to ensure effective design and implementation of agricultural surveys including data processing and analysis. This is both in terms of increased staffing of the Statistical Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Staff training in data collection, processing, analysis and Management.

  6. To facilitate wider dissemination and access to agricultural data it is proposed to establish an electronic data bank to serve as a one-stop-center.

  7. There is need to improve methodologies used in data collection in the following areas:

    • the National Crop Estimates Survey;

    • the National Sampling Frame;

    • the use of Participatory Approaches in data collection

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