The 2004 Agricultural Census represented the fourth agricultural census undertaken in Trinidad and Tobago by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) and the second census of the new millennium. Compared to a Population and Housing Census, an agricultural census is by far a more complex and highly technical undertaking which necessitate careful planning several years before the actual enumeration.
The scope of the 2004 Agricultural census was confined to Crop and Livestock Production.Therefore fishing, forestry, hunting, trapping and game production were not included within the scope of the census since such activities are not considered to be agricultural production. Agricultural services were also excluded.
6.1 Tree Crops under Cultivation as at July 31, 2004 on All Holdings by Type of Crop and Type of Organisation of Holding
6.2 Number and Area of Tree Crops Under Pure Stand Cultivation in 2004 on All Holdings by Location and Type of Organisation of Holding
6.3 Number of Tree Crops Grown Under Pure Stand Cultivation as at July 31, 2004 on All Holdings by Type of Crop and Type of Organisation of Holding
6.4 Number of Trees Under Cultivation as at July 31, 2004 on All Parcels by Type of Crop, Maturity and Location of Parcel
6.5 Number and Area of Tree Crops under Pure Stand Cultivation as at July 31, 2004 on all Holdings by Type of Crop and Location of Parcel
6.6 Number and Area of Tree Crops under Pure Stand Cultivation as at July 31, 2004 on Private Holdings by Type of Crop and Location of Parcel
6.7 Tree Crops under Cultivation as at July 31, 2004 on all Holdings by Type of Crop, Planting Arrangement and Location of Parcel 6.8 Tree Crops under Cultivation as at July 31, 2004 on all Holdings by Type of Crop, Maturity and Type of Organisation of Holding
6.9 Tree Crops Under Cultivation as at July 31, 2004 on all Holdings by Type of Crop, Maturity and Location of Parcel
6.10 Area of Non-Tree Crops under Cultivation as at July 31, 2004 on All Holdings by Location of Parcel, Type of Organisation and Planting Arrangement
6.11 Area of Non-Tree Crops Under Cultivation as at July 31, 2004 by Type of Crop, Location of Parcel and Planting Arrangement
15.1 Source of Water Supply for Non-Irrigation Purposes by Location of Holding, Organisation and Agricultural Activity
15.2 Number and Area of Holdings Irrigated by Type of Irrigation System, Location, Organisation and Agricultural Activity
15.3 Number of Holdings Irrigated by Location, Organisation, Agricultural Activity and Source of Water Supply 15.4 Number of Holdings Irrigated by Location, Organisation, Agricultural Activity and Method of Distribution
20.1 Source of Financing for Agricultural Operations by Location, Organisation, and Agricultural Activity
20.2 Problems Encountered in Acquiring Agricultural Financing by Location, Organisation and Agricultural Activity
The questionnaire has 23 sections: Section 1: Identification of Holder, Holding and Hired Manager Section 2: General Characteristics Section 3: Demographic Characteristics of Holder and Holder’s Household Members Section 4: Education and Training Section 5: Economic Activity Section 6: Employment on Holding Section 7: Location, Size, Tenure and Land Use of Holdings Section 8: Crops under Cultivation Section 9: Pasture, Ornamental Plants, Flowers and Nurseries Section 10: Crops Harvested and Sold in 2003 Section 11: Method of Disposal of Harvests Section 12: Livestock, Poultry and Apiaries Section 13: Method of Disposal for Livestock/Products Section 14: Aquaculture Section 15: Machinery and Equipment Section 16: Farm Buildings Section 17: Production Problems Section 18: Praedial and Other Larceny Section 19: Water Supply and Irrigation Section 20: Drainage and Disposal of Farm Waste Section 21: Seeds, Fertilizers and Chemicals Section 22: Financing Section 23: Market Information
Section 1: Identification of Holder, Holding and Hired Manager
The main aim of this section was to obtain basic identification information in terms of the names and addresses of the holder, holding, as well as the hired manager. This data would form the core of the Central Statistical Office agricultural census database and provide the frames necessary to undertake inter-censal sample surveys of all agricultural activities. In addition, the data on Farmer’s Registration would also provide the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources with a measure of the accuracy and completeness of its Farmer’s Registration Programme.
Section 2: General Characteristics
Data on the general characteristics of the holding in terms of its legal status and organisation were also collected. This information would provide a general overview of the organisational structure of agricultural holdings in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the business orientation of the holders toward either formal or informal organisational structures. In addition, the real contribution of the agricultural sector necessitates taking into account not only primary activities but also secondary agricultural activities undertaken on the holding. Consequently, downstream agro-processing activities on the holding using primary agricultural inputs originating from the said holding were also collected in order to provide an indication of the forward linkages, value added, income and employment generation potential of the primary agricultural activities.
Section 3: Demographic Characteristics of Holder and Holder’s Household Members
The data captured in this section represented one of the fundamental differences and major improvements over the 2004 Agricultural Census Questionnaire design. The information was not limited to the holder’s demographic characteristics as was the case in the 1982 Agricultural Census but was also extended to include the holder’s household members 10 years old and over. This was intended to highlight the true nature and structure of the agricultural household and facilitate a comparison with the non-agricultural household to determine if any fundamental differences exist which, would assist in sustainable agricultural and rural development planning.
Section 4: Education and Training
Section Four examined the educational attainment, qualification and training of the holder as well as the members of the holder’s household. Education is an important social institution and characteristic of any given society and the data collected from the 2004 Agricultural Census would not only provide a comparison with the 1982 Agricultural Census but also allow a wider demographic analysis of the agricultural sector in terms of the current levels of educational attainment and specific training acquired by the agriculture population of Trinidad and Tobago.
Sustainable Rural Development is contingent upon Sustainable Agricultural Development because agricultural activities are intrinsically tied to the socio-economic fabric of rural communities and in most cases it is the main source of economic activity. In this regard, the information collected would also allow policy makers and planners to gauge and determine the continuity of members of the holder’s household in current agricultural activities and hence overall sustainability, as well as the agricultural sector’s specific training needs.
Section 5: Economic Activity for all Members of the Household 10 Years Old and Over
The main purpose of this Section was to obtain employment and labour force data on the agricultural holder as well as to identify members of the holder’s household 10 years old and over who were economically active, that is, persons of either sex above a specified age, employed or unemployed but seeking work during the reference period. This information would provide a broad indication of the extent of the individual’s involvement and contribution to work on the holding. A minimum age limit for the economically active population was set at ten (10) years in order to cater for children who frequently assist and participate in agricultural work in many rural districts.
A common feature associated with the agricultural labour force is the phenomenon of multiple employment opportunities by the holder and members of the holder’s household. In this regard, questions on the number of jobs and main occupations were included in order to determine whether agriculture was the major or an alternative\supplementary source of employment opportunity.
The importance of agricultural employment opportunities is also measured in terms of the relative incomes generated from such activities over time. There however, continues to be a dearth of data on agricultural incomes, despite its importance in informing agricultural planning and policy decisions. In this regard, average gross monthly incomes were collected to fill the existing data gap as well as to enable comparability with the 1982 income levels.
Section 6: Employment on Holding (Excluding Members of the Household)
Section Six also aimed to collect employment data on the holding but was confined to persons who were not members of the holder’s household. Data on employment of agricultural workers, other than the members of the holder’s household would provide a useful means of classifying holdings by the type of hired agricultural workers in terms of hired manager, permanent, seasonal and occasional. In addition, the duration of employment and the age structure of persons seeking agricultural employment would also provide invaluable information in informing training and employment policies for the agricultural sector.
Section 7: Location, Size, Tenure and Land Use of Holdings
The purpose of this section was to obtain precise information at the holding level as well as on each parcel of land operated by the holder concerning location, size of parcel, the type of tenure under which each parcel is held and the present utilization of each parcel. In terms of informing national and regional agricultural land use policy, the information collected would be used to ascertain the total land area used for agricultural purposes as well as the current land use status, the size distribution of such lands and the extent of the various tenure arrangements under which such lands are being held. Comparability with the 1982 Agricultural Census questionnaire design was maintained and family land and rent-free land tenure arrangements were also introduced to cater for situations peculiar to Tobago.
Section 8: Crops under Cultivation
The specific use of agricultural lands as it relates to the type of crops under cultivation by location is an integral component required for the development of agricultural land use strategies at the local and regional levels and would also serve to complement soil capability studies and related data more useful. To facilitate this process, data on permanent and non-permanent crops under cultivation was collected at the parcel level. This represented a major improvement over the 1982 Agricultural Census data, which was restricted to the level of the holding.
Section 9: Pasture, Ornamental Plants, Flowers and Nurseries
Section Nine of the census questionnaire was designed to capture basic data on holdings which were engaged in the cultivation of grasses for fodder, as well as holders who were engaged in the growing of nursery products, ornamental plants and flowers for sale to the public. Improvements in the use and management of pastures as well as animal husbandry practices could result with the correlation of the data between the cultivation of grasses and livestock rearing and production. In addition, the data on blooms and cuttings would also facilitate an assessment of the current production capacity of the cut flower industry and its ability to take advantage and respond to increasingly globalized international markets.
Section 10: Crops Harvested and Sold in 2003
While primary agriculture is generally a rural activity, holders behave in a rational manner and attempt to maximise the returns on their investment. An important ingredient for measuring the economic viability and sustainability of any agricultural activity is the average yield or productivity associated with the various quantities of inputs employed by the holder. In addition, data on type of crops and area cultivated can be only meaningful and useful when it is complemented with information on area and quantity harvested. The data collected in this section also allow a comparison of agricultural productivity at the 1982 levels.
Section 11: Method of Disposal of Harvests
This section was designed to provide vital information on the various methods of disposal of harvests. Compared to the 1982 Agricultural Census, a greater level of disaggregation was incorporated and included not only wholesale and retail sales but also disposition through home use and gifts, loss through spoilage, loss through theft, harvests fed to animals and kept for planting materials as well as output held in stock. This data would enable farmers and policy makers to have a better understanding of post harvest related problems and hence aid in the design and implementation of relevant loss minimisation measures.
Section 12: Livestock, Poultry and Apiaries
The Livestock, Poultry and Apiary industries are not only important in providing employment, income-earning and livelihood opportunities for the rural economy, enhancing food security, but are also the main source of meat and protein for the nation. In this regard, current stock data on the industries pen capacity, the number, and the breed and type of livestock, poultry and apiary are important planning tools to ensure the continued fulfilment of these functions and the sustainable expansion of these industries.
Section 13: Method of Disposal for Livestock/Products
The primary aim of this section was to collect data on the number of livestock sold live, the quantities sold as meat as well as data on other livestock products such as eggs, honey and milk. Compared to the 1982 Agricultural Census, a greater level of disaggregation was incorporated and included not only the number and quantities sold of each product but also the various methods employed by the holders to dispose of their livestock and livestock products. This data would enable farmers to have a better understanding of specific market demands and hence facilitate more effective and efficient market planning.
Section 14: Aquaculture
Attempts at agricultural diversification over the past decade have resulted in an expansion of agricultural activity beyond traditional food crop farming and livestock rearing to include aquaculture. Unlike the 1982 Agricultural Census, which excluded this activity, the 2004 Agricultural Census collected basic information on inland fishing related to the farming system employed, species cultivated, production and disposal of output. This information would be used to build a database, which would facilitate the conduct of further specialised inter-censal surveys to better inform stakeholders and policymakers of this activity.
Section 15: Machinery and Equipment
The method of production employed by holders changes over time as holders conform to and adopt modern practices, machinery and equipment and technologies in order to improve agricultural productivity and remain competitive. Consequently, data on machinery and equipment used for agricultural purposes will indicate the current level of technological sophistication and mechanization employed by the holder as well as changes in cultural farming practices that would have occurred since the 1982 Agricultural Census. At the sector level, the data would also aid agricultural planners in the design and implementation of relevant technology policy.
In addition, the increasing recognition of women’s role in agriculture and rural development cannot be overlooked, especially among developing countries. In this regard the data would also facilitate a gender analysis of technology adoption.
Section 16: Farm Buildings
As agricultural holders expand the number of activities and size of their holding over time, there would also be an expansion in the supporting infrastructure including different types of farm buildings. Data on non-residential farm buildings for agricultural purposes represent a departure from the 1982 Agricultural Census and will provide invaluable information relating to the size of the holdings and levels of physical infrastructural development.
Section 17: Production Problems
Agricultural activities are subject to problems that are influenced and driven by demand and supply side conditions. This section was specifically designed to collect data on supply or production problems, which were experienced by the holder during the reference period. Compared to the 1982 Agricultural Census, the coverage of problems were very exhaustive and not solely limited to marketing issues. The information generated would assist farmers in making more informed decisions and also help sector planners in the design of relevant policies and programmes relating to agricultural production.
Section 18: Praedial and Other Larceny
Praedial larceny has been one of the most costly perennial problems associated with primary agricultural activities. This problem has accentuated over the past years resulting in disincentive to produce and considerable financial losses to farmers. Despite the seriousness of praedial larceny, official statistics on this problem continues to be unavailable. In this regard, data on the specific type of loss, frequency of loss and the estimated value were collected to enable a better understanding of the problem and implementation of appropriate action to minimise its occurrence.
Section 19: Water Supply and Irrigation
Agricultural output and productivity are determined by the frequency of both the activity and the extent of utilisation of a quantity of land during a given time period. The latter in turn is influenced to a considerable degree by the availability of an adequate and reliable supply of water and the implementation of irrigation systems on the holding. In Trinidad and Tobago this factor is of critical importance given the presence of an annual dry season spanning the months of January to June. In this context, data collected during the 2004 Agricultural Census on farmer’s access to water for specific agricultural purposes, water use, distribution and management practices would therefore facilitate effective integrative planning and greater efficiency in the use of agricultural land throughout the year. In addition, comparability with the 1982 Agricultural Census data would be facilitated.
Section 20: Drainage and Disposal of Farm Waste
Environmental issues such as flooding and the disposal of farm waste have gained local and international prominence over the past decade and affect the sustainability of agricultural activity. Flooding contributes to farmer’s losses, higher food prices and increased government expenditures while indiscriminate disposal of farm waste generates negative production and consumption externalities on members of the farming and non-farming communities. Data on flooding and drainage would assist the government in optimising its agricultural land use policy and disaster compensation payments programmes through the minimisation of production in high risks flood prone areas and improvement in drainage. In addition, methods employed by the holder to dispose of farm waste would inform government’s policy on environmental degradation as well as compliance with environmental production standards for the export market.
Section 21: Seeds, Fertilizers and Chemicals
This section focused on inorganic farming practices and was designed to gather data on the main variety of seeds and seedlings planted as well as the types, quantity, and area of application of fertilizers and chemicals. The information could serve to inform the planning decisions of input suppliers as well as the efficiency of fertilizer and chemical applications by holders. In addition, the data can be useful in determining correlation between crop yield and variety of seedlings.
Section 22: Financing
Agricultural credit is required by the holder to facilitate the expansion of the holding and related activities as well as to finance daily operating expenditures. In addition to the absence of rural credit institutions, farmers are also faced with the problem of inadequate access to formal agricultural credit for many reasons. The data collected in this section would aid in informing and improving government’s rural development and agricultural credit policies by facilitating an analysis of credit demand by size of holding, main source of financing and related problems.
Section 23: Market Information
Market planning is an important ingredient for the success and sustainability of any economic activity. In this regard, the design and development of a successful agricultural marketing plan is contingent upon relevant, timely and reliable market information. The data collected in this section would therefore facilitate a market information needs analysis of the holders as well as aid the design and implementation of appropriate policy measure. In addition, a gender perspective on agricultural marketing would also be facilitated. The questionnaire was prepared sufficiently in advance of the enumeration date to permit adequate pretesting, finalization of the tabulation plan and an early start to data processing. Overall, the iterative process involved in the questionnaire development combined with continuous discussions and critical evaluations ensured that the final draft of the questionnaire reflected the views and captured the current needs of the various stakeholders while simultaneously being concerned about costs and the need to effect economies in all areas of census activity for the 2004 Agricultural Census.
2004 Census of Agriculture
“Farmers we need your co-operation Make your contribution Provide us with accurate information The Agricultural Census is Vital to our Nation”
Keywords: census of agriculture, apiculture, aquaculture, fishing, cocoa, livestock, poultry, farm, holdings, fertilizer, crops