Jairo Castano https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0018-4386

© FAO, 2022. Artykuł udostępniony na licencji CC BY-SA 4.0


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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) coordinates the World Programme for the Census of Agriculture 2020 (WCA 2020). A census of agriculture is a nation-wide statistical operation, undertaken at least once every ten years, that collects data on the structure of agriculture at farm level. As a part of its monitoring role, the FAO receives regular updates from member countries on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ongoing agricultural census activities. This paper assesses the extent to which agricultural censuses were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and proposes best practices for minimising its impact. The latest review of censuses in 155 countries and territories shows that COVID-19 has affected censuses of agriculture both in developed and developing countries. However, some countries coped with the pandemic better than others. Prior-to-the-pandemic improvements in national statistical systems, a wide range of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions, and the use of alternative data collection methods and administrative registers helped these countries to reduce significantly their reliance on face-to-face interactions, and instead made them favour online training and remote data collection. This has a potential to further accelerate the pace of innovation in census-taking. For other countries, the experience underscored the need to improve the ICT infrastructure, diversify data collection methods, adopt e-learning for training, and start using administrative registers in future censuses.


COVID-19 pandemic, census of agriculture, World Programme for the Census of Agriculture, WCA, administrative registers, FAO




Castano, J. (2018). Technological Innovations in the Census of Agriculture. Statistika, 98(4), 377– 384. https://www.czso.cz/documents/10180/61266315/32019718q4377.pdf/5608417b-74b7-4746-90a7-ca510be91591?version=1.0.

Castano, J. (2020a). Censuses of agriculture and COVID-19: Global situation and lessons. Statistical Journal of the IAOS, 36(4), 861–865. https://doi.org/10.3233/SJI-200752.

Castano, J. (2020b). Impact on censuses of agriculture and mitigation measures. In How Covid-19 is changing the world: a statistical perspective (vol. 2, p. 64–65). Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities. https://unstats.un.org/unsd/ccsa/documents/covid19-report-ccsa_vol2.pdf.

Castano, J. (2020c). National agricultural census operations and COVID-19. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. www.fao.org/3/ca8605en/CA8605EN.pdf.

Castano, J. (2022a). An international review of the effect of the pandemic on censuses of agriculture [Invited paper presentation]. 63rd ISI World Statistics Congress, Kraków.

Castano, J. (2022b). Impact of COVID-19 on national censuses of agriculture (Status overview). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. www.fao.org/3/ca8984en/CA8984EN.pdf.

Castano, J., & Cara, O. (2019). Integrating agricultural censuses and surveys for optimal sectoral data collection. 62nd session of the WSC, Kuala Lumpur.

Eurostat. (2021, July 8). Minimising the impact of COVID-19 on data quality in the agricultural census. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/10186/10693286/Agricultural-census-minimising+the+impact+of+COVID-19+on+data+quality.pdf/f81876f6-2d49-4f3d-d616-9fd6609702b1?t=1626339482658.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2015). World Programme for the Census of Agriculture 2020 (WCA 2020): Volume 1. Programme, concepts and definitions. https://www.fao.org/3/i4913e/i4913e.pdf.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2018). World Programme for the Census of Agriculture 2020: Volume 2. Operational guidelines. https://www.fao.org/3/CA1963EN/ca1963en.pdf.

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