Lesotho has been conducting decennial Agriculture Censuses (ACs) since 1949. The AC 1949/1950 and the AC 1959/1960 were both organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, while the ACs for 1969/1970, 1979/1980, 1989/1990, 1999/2000, and the latest, AC 2009/2010, to which the metadata review and data presented here refer, was organized by the Bureau of Statistics (BOS).
The Agricultural Sector is an important economic sector in terms of production of food, raw materials as well as creation of employment. The type of farming practiced in Lesotho is primarily subsistence. The
2009/2010 sample Agricultural Census was conducted as part of FAO 2010 World Census of Agriculture. While BOS undertakes annual Agricultural Production Surveys (APS) in addition to the decennial censuses, the latter is more comprehensive in coverage. For instance, the APS does not cover structural variables that do not change rapidly over time, such as household characteristics and farm structure.
The main objective of the 2009/2010 Agricultural Census is to provide information which will be used to monitor achievements in the implementation of key priority indicators of Lesotho as articulated in the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). Of particular interest, will be monitoring of the area of improving agricultural production and food security. Data collected from the Agricultural Census will provide information on progress in the implementation of strategies designed to attain these indicators. Census of agriculture is one of the largest national statistical studies undertaken by BOS. Its use as a source of data will be taken into consideration for monitoring the agricultural related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) No: 2; Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger as well as MDG No: 7; Ensuring Environmental Sustainability. Furthermore, the 2009/2010 Agricultural Census will be the third held in the MDGs reference period (1990–2015); the first was conducted in 1989/1990.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
The Agricultural Census covers agricultural activities on holdings held under different systems of land tenure. The types of holding covered include peasant farms, large farms, prison farms, school farms and project farms. Specific information covered:
- Agricultural holdings
- Summer and winter crops planted during 2009/2010 agricultural year
- Fruits grown
Agriculture & Rural Development
Land (policy, resource management)
The statistical unit was the agricultural holding, defined as "an economic unit of agricultural production under single management comprising all livestock kept and all land used wholly or partly for own account agricultural production purposes, without regard to title, legal form, or size". The AC covered the holdings in the household sector ("agricultural households") only.
Producers and sponsors
Bureau of Statistics (BOS)
Government of Lesotho
Food and Agriculture Organization
Government of Lesotho
A stratified multi-stage sampling scheme was adopted for the selection of the sample for the census. In the first stage, Primary Sampling Units were selected from an area frame of Enumeration Areas (EAs), which were demarcated by Cartography and Survey Methodology Division during the preparation of 2006 Population and Housing Census. Construction of PSU sample frame was done by merging two or more adjacent enumeration areas. PSUs were selected with Probability Proportional to Size (PPS), where the number of households as of 2006 Population and Housing census in the PSUs was considered as the Measure of Size (MOS). About 120 PSUs in rural areas that covered 2,292 households were selected. Individual agricultural holdings (farming households) constituted Secondary Sampling Units (SSUs) for estimation of land use, crop areas and livestock population. In each PSU, about 27 agricultural households were selected through systematic sampling from a list frame of all agricultural households. For estimation of both summer and winter crops yields, 10 fields under specific crops and two sub-plots for sample crop cutting in each selected field, form the Third and Ultimate Sampling Units respectively. Institutions, prisons, schools and projects that were within the selected PSUs automatically qualified for data collection.
Dates of Data Collection
Data collection- summer production
Data collection- summer production
Data Collection Mode
Two types of questionnaire were used for the AC 2009/2010, for holdings in the household sector in:
(i) rural areas
(ii) urban areas
The questionnaires for rural areas included eleven forms. The AC 2009/2010 questionnaires used for rural households were: Form AC-1 "Rural household listing", Form AC-2 "Rural household members", Form AC-3 "Area measurement", Form AC-4 "Field listing by crop", Form AC-5 "Operation and costs", Form AC-6 "Crop failure and pre-harvest losses", Form AC-7 "Crop cutting"; Form AC-8 "Farmer's yield estimate", Form AC-9 Availability and utilization of cereals in the household", Form AC-10 "Livestock inventory" and Form AC-11 "Structural information".
Those for urban areas contained six forms. These included one form for listing the agricultural holders in the selected PSUs. In addition, a community questionnaire was designed for the community survey. The AC questionnaires covered 13 of the 16 core items recommended for the WCA 2010.( The following core items were not covered by the AC: (i) "Land tenure types on the holding"; (ii) "Presence of aquaculture on the holding"; and (iii) "Other economic production activities of the holding's enterprise".)
All questionnaires are attached to the external materials section.
1. DATA PROCESSING AND ARCHIVING
Manual data entry was used for the AC data on the Access screen. Tabulation and analysis were done with SPSS and Microsoft Excel. Editing (such as range and consistency edits) was done manually. The estimation of standard errors (SE), the coefficient of variation (CV), the confidence interval (CI) and the design effect (DEFF) was performed using WesVar.
2. CENSUS DATA QUALITY
To minimize non-sampling errors, intensive training of enumerators and sensitization of respondents was undertaken.
As stipulated in the Statistics Act of 2001, one of BOS functions is to conduct the Agricultural Census. Planning, organization, data collection, data processing, analysis and tabulation as well as administration and financial responsibility remained with the Bureau of Statistics. However FAO provided technical assistance for tabulation plan. About 120 trained enumerators carried out the fieldwork under the supervision of field officers. Each enumerator was in charge of one PSU, while one Senior Field Officer was supervising data collection under the supervision of Statistician from BOS Headquarters within each district. Data was retrieved from the field to BOS headquarters. It was then processed and analyzed according to tabulation plan.
Ministry of Finance and Development Planning
Bureau of Statistics
Address: P.O. Box 455, Maseru 100, Lesotho
Telephone: (+266) 22323852 / 22326393
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses