By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE Zambia Statistics Agency in conjunction the Ministry of Agriculture will next month be conducting the 2019/2020 crop forecasting survey to analyse the country’s overall food availability.
Additionally, the survey will establish an estimate of the food deficit or surplus situation.
Agriculture products in February 2020 topped the Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) for Zambia.
The survey is conducted on a yearly basis to collect information on major crops as well as expected production estimates during the current agricultural season.
Zambia Statistics Agency interim Statistician General, Mulenga Musepa, said the food balance sheet included information on the country’s strategic grain reserve for the season.
Mr Musepa said the survey would also provide Government with reliable, empirical annual estimates of crop production statistics for the agricultural season.
“Other factors are to provide statistics on the potential available marketable surplus for the major crops grown in the country;
“Others are to provide production statistics used for preliminary estimation of the agricultural sector contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product,” he said in a bulletin.
Mr Musepa said other objectives of the survey were to generate the annual national food balance sheet and provide public institutions, the private sector and other stakeholders with forecasts of national, provincial and district level indicators of crop sector performance.
He said this information would be used to assess the expected food security situation in the country and also to produce the National Food Balance Sheet (NFBS).
“The food balance sheet is used to assess the food security status of the country. The information is vital to Government, NGOs, the private sector as well as cooperating partners, and is useful for strategic planning and decision making purposes.
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU