Economic Census - Agricultural Activities, 2013-2014
Agricultural Census [ag/census]
The first attempt to conduct an agricultural census in the country was the Census of Production, held in 1921. Partial agricultural censuses were then carried out in 1924 and 1929. Subsequently, agricultural censuses were carried out in 1946, 1952, 1962, 1973, 1982 and 2002. The present metadata review and data refer to the Economic Census - Agricultural Activities' (EC-AA) 2013/2014.
Department of Census and Statistics conducted the Economic Census (EC) which is nationally significant based on year 2013/14 for the first time in Sri Lanka. The Economic Census - Agricultural Activities (EC-AA) is a combination of Census of Industries and the Census of Agriculture held subsequently to the Census of Population and Housing. During the enumeration of main sectors of the economy such as Agriculture, Industries, Trade and services, data collection from the Agricultural sector was performed separately by using multiple questionnaires. Therefore, Economic census consists of 2 sections namely as, Enumeration of agricultural activities and Enumeration of industry, trade and services.
The Economic Census – Agricultural Activities 2013/14 was carried out primarily to meet the national needs whilst at the same time confirming to the requirements of the 2010 series world Census of Agriculture Program of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
The main objectives were;
i. To collect basic data on structure of agriculture needed for the formulation and implementation of agricultural development projects.
ii. To establish benchmark data against which the progress of agricultural projects can be evaluated.
iii. To provide basic frames of households, agricultural households and holding for conducting future surveys in the field of agriculture.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
Enumeration of agricultural activities mainly aimed at collecting quantitative data related to the following subject areas.
i. Agricultural holdings
ii. Agricultural operators
iii. Use of land and tenure/ ownership
iv. Crop Cultivation
v. Livestock/ Poultry
vii. Fertilizer and Pesticide use
viii. Agricultural machinery use and ownership
Agriculture & Rural Development
Food (production, crisis)
Land (policy, resource management)
The statistical unit was the agricultural holding, which consists of all land and/or livestock used wholly or partly for agricultural production, which is operated under one operational status, regardless of land ownership or type of tenure; the land can consist of one or more parcels, which can be located in one Divisional Secretary's Division or can be spread across various Divisional Secretary's Divisions.
The statistical units covered by the census were distributed according to the following two sectors: (i) the "estate" or large holding sector; and (ii) the small holding sector (SHS). An agricultural holding with the same tenure having at least 20 acres (8.09 ha) of land is considered an "estate". SHS holdings were classified into two groups, namely:
· "marginal holdings" - holdings operating less than or equal to 40 perches (0.10 ha), having some form of cultivation, rearing livestock or aquaculture, and the production of which is mainly for home consumption; and
· "economically viable holdings" - holdings operating more than 40 perches (0.10 ha) or producing agricultural output, mainly for marketing. From this category, information was collected through the Small Holding 2 Form (SH-2).
Producers and sponsors
Department of Census and Statistics (DCS)
Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs (MNPEA)
Government of Sri Lanka
The EC-AA was conducted in two stages:
· Stage 1: listing of estates (conducted in 2013, form El)
· Stage 2: this included the following activities and was undertaken in the third quarter of 2014: (i) data collection from estates (form E2);
(ii) listing of small holdings (using SH1);
(iii) data collection from small holdings (using SH2).
As part of the EC-AA 2013/2014 programme, a community survey and a survey on household food security were carried out. The information provided by the Population and Housing Census 2011 was used as a basis to identify small agricultural holdings. A complete enumeration was carried out to list all small holdings (using the listing form SH1 for each "census block" of a Grama Niladhari, or GN). To elaborate the list for the estates, a separate listing activity was carried out by GN (using Form El for each census block of a GN). Complete enumeration was applied to collect the data from the agricultural holdings (using census questionnaires E2 and SH2; see the "Questionnaires" subsection below). Sampling was applied for the food security survey.
Two-stage stratified sampling was used to collect data for the food security survey. The sample size was 28 000 households (or 1.2 percent of the total number of households).
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
The questionnaire of the Economic Census - Agricultural Activities 2013/14 questionnaire on household food security collected information on:
Section 1: Availability of food
Section 2: Household food insecurity access
Section 3: Strategies to overcome food shortage
Section 4: Further expectations relating to food
Section 5: Keeping basic foodstock
Section 6: Home gardening
Section 7: Shocks and hazards
The questionnaire is available as additional material in the documentation tab.
Data processing activities of the Census was carried out in two phases. In order to disseminate an important data needed by users, based on summary sheets that were prepared by Enumerators were processed in the first phase just after the census proper. In this stage the DCS had designed relevant tabulation programs and centralized the activities in the Head Office. This includes data entry activities and tabulation of the summary sheets. One officer from Agriculture and Environmental Statistics Division was appointed in each district and was trained for data entry work and tabulations. This procedure was completed by early part of the year 2015 and the preliminary report was published in the means of hard copies and electronic media by including the Departmental Website. Then the next phase was data capturing and processing of nearly 2.3 million main schedules (SH 2) in the Small Holding Sector and also information collected through E 2 pertaining to 7,447 Estates. The questionnaires related to Estates were scanned, edited, coded and then tabulated with the assistance of ICT division and by the staff of the Agriculture and Environmental Statistics Division of DCS. The questionnaire SH 2 related to the Small Holding Sector was designed with a view to data capture through the means of optical card reader (scanner). At that time DCS was in possession of “Avision AV320D2+” scanners with single user form processing software. This scanner's duty cycle was rated 9,600 pages per day. A team of error editors had deployed for editing of SH2, and to perform some validity checks manually after the data capturing process.
The census questionnaires were scanned and then the census data processed and tabulated by the staff of the Agriculture and Environmental Statistics Division of the DCS, with the assistance of the Information and Communication Technology Division. A pre-test and a pilot census were conducted to test all census tools.
Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs
Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs,
Department of Census and Statistics
Address: "Sankyana Mandiraya ", No. 306/71, Poldoowa Road, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka
Telephone: (+94) (0) 112147000
See also http://www.statistics.gov.lk/
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