The Ministry of Planning estimates that the number of agricultural households it will record in the ongoing census will total 2.7 million, an increase from the 2.1 million logged in the most recent 2013 census.

The ministry’s National Institute of Statistics (NIS) launched the nationwide agricultural census on April 1 to gather data on all aspects of the agricultural sector. The compiled information will be used to formulate policies, strategies, action plans and projects aimed at promoting economic development.

Nor Vandy, director of the NIS’ Department of Economic Statistics, said on April 19 that the census is on schedule to wrap up at the end of this month.

“More than 6,000 census officers are visiting villages and communes across the country to update statistical data on the status of agricultural households and all types of commercial agricultural operations. This includes manpower, their financial situation, as well as their production potential,” he explained.

He added that after the collection campaign comes to an end, the NIS will collate the findings, analyse their accuracy and then prepare a report for wider dissemination.

“The preliminary results will be published in December, with a final report due for release next year,” he noted.

The 2023 agricultural census received technical support from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), but is fully funded by the government. Preliminary estimates suggest that 2.7 million of the Kingdom’s 3.9 million households are engaged in agriculture.

Yourng Pakk, chief executive officer of AGRIBEE (Cambodia) Plc, which offers a range of support services to the agriculture industry, described the census as a crucial tool for the development of the sector.

However, Pakk suggested that the census be conducted every five years. He said he had observed discrepancies in the census data and that released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

“Ways to record the data more accurately should be explored, as the census results would be even more useful for all stakeholders,” he said.

“The census provides the private sector with information on the evolution of incomes, modernisation, crops and production from year to year. This data is useful for supporting policy planning and decision-making by investors and businesspeople,” he added.