Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo has said the livestock census, which is currently ongoing in Eastern Province, will provide a basis for determining the livestock and fish products export potential of the country.
Mr. Kasolo said the census will conduct a large sample survey of livestock and fisheries which will enable authorities determine its exports potential.
He said this yesterday when he officiated at the opening of the provincial enumerators and supervisors training workshop in Chipata.
Mr. Kasolo said the livestock census was a landmark that will facilitate effective policy formulation and implementation in the agriculture sector.
He noted that for over 25 years now, the Zambian agriculture sector has only relied on crop production statistics and on not the other components of livestock and honey
“There has been very scanty and irregular statistics on the actual contribution of livestock, fisheries and honey to the national economy despite the agriculture sector being very important to the future of Zambia and significantly contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP),” he said.
Given the importance of the exercise, the PS has since cautioned the team of provincial enumerators and supervisors that has been tasked to carry out the census to take the exercise seriously.
“The effective planning and future development of the agriculture sector depends on this census. It is for this reason that I am warning the participants to deliver as whoever does not perform as expected risks being dropped,” he said.
He added that, “I therefore urge the coordinators of this project to further verify the qualifications of the participants and drop whoever is not qualified to take part in the exercise,” he cautioned.
The 2017 livestock and aquaculture census will use a representative probability sample of at least 250, 000 households to cover 2,062 enumeration areas (EAS). The results of the survey will then be validated during the 2020 census which shall include a few questions on livestock, fisheries and honey production.
Meanwhile, Muchinga Province Permanent Secretary Bright Nundwe has urged enumerators participating in the livestock and aquaculture census in the region to put national interest ahead of personal benefits.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Permanent Secretary Davy Chanda during the official opening of a training workshop for enumerators in Chinsali today, Mr. Nundwe said government has injected substantial amount of money in the exercise.
He pointed out that laziness among enumerators will therefore not be condoned.
He said putting personal benefits ahead of national interest can lead to providing incorrect data that might compromise statistical results.
Mr. Nundwe further urged the enumerators to be professional when carrying out the exercise as they have been selected on merit.
He added that commitment towards the exercise should be the driving factor in every participant.
He said since the 2017-2018 livestock and aquaculture census is a countrywide exercise, many stakeholders may be keen to observe the implementation hence the need to demonstrate total commitment.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Coordinator for Fisheries and Livestock for Muchinga Province Happy Kanyinji has commended government for the livestock and aquaculture census for the 2017-2018 agriculture season.
Dr. Kanyinji has since urged supervisors and participants to operate diligently and avoid doctoring of information.
The livestock and aquaculture census exercise was last conducted in 1990-1991 agriculture season.