The ABS believes that the proposed Agricultural Statistics Program will provide the majority of users with both the predictability and flexibility required to meet their data requirements. However it is essential the ABS continues the consultation process to ensure the program remains contemporary and provides an effective use of resources.
The 2009-10 Agricultural Survey will focus on the collection of statistics relating to natural resource use and management by agricultural businesses in addition to the collection of the annual commodity, water use, water source and land use statistics. The following year, 2010-11 Agricultural Census, will focus on the collection of statistics most usefully collected and disseminated at the small area level. This includes the collection of the more detailed list of commodity production information. In the development of the Agricultural Census questionnaire, the ABS will be seeking input from users of the small area statistics.
The ABS budget allocation is finite and monies allocated for the collection of agricultural statistics must be targeted to ensure the data collection meets priority needs. As in the past, where space is available and it is considered relevant, the ABS will endeavour to include user-funded questions on the Agricultural Survey and Census questionnaires. However, if this is not possible, the ABS will work with clients to facilitate their information needs, including the possibility of a separate survey.
To discuss the content of this paper further please contact Karen Connaughton on (02) 6252 5337 or by email on Agriculture.Statistics@abs.gov.au.