The African Development Bank, through its Statistical Capacity Building (SCB) program, conducted a regional training workshop on the Strategic Plans for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS) for English-speaking national experts in agriculture statistics and strategy development in Lusaka, Zambia. Held from October 6-10, the workshop targeted specialist from the Bank’s English-speaking regional member countries (RMCs) within the framework of the Global Strategy to improve statistics of agriculture and rural statistics. The training was organized in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture and the Central Statistical Office of Zambia.
The main objective of the workshop was to support the implementation of the Action Plan for Africa for improving of statistics for food security, sustainable agriculture, and rural development. Specifically, the workshop (i) trained participants on the use of guidelines to develop SPARS; (ii) participants shared country experience and best practices in developing SPARS, and; (iii) conducted working sessions of developing SPARS.
The workshop was attended by officials drawn mainly from the National Statistical Offices and Ministries of Agriculture. The opening remarks were given by Julius J. Shawa, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. Others who officiated included: John Kalumbi, Director Central Statistics Office of Zambia; Oliver Chinganya, Manager, Statistical Capacity Building Division in the Statistics Department of AfDB.
In his speech, Shawa said he was optimistic that SPARS would help make agricultural and rural statistics more accessible. He stressed that it would also respond to emerging data needs on food security, national planning, among others, as well as to improve the coordination of statistics production in countries.