TACLOBAN CITY – Some 1,460 villages in Eastern Visayas will be covered in the 2022 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries (CAF), collecting, compiling, evaluating, analyzing and publishing data on agriculture and fishery sectors of the country.

In a press briefing Friday, PSA regional director Wilma Perante said all households in these identified villages will be covered in the survey to determine characteristics of farm parcels or fishing, crops planted and harvested, species cultured or livestock and poultry raised, among others.

Of the 1,460 covered villages, 501 are in Leyte, 300 in Samar, 214 in Southern Leyte, 205 in Eastern Samar, 170 in Northern Samar and 70 in Biliran.

“Through this census, we can provide data for area estimation and count of selected crops like sugarcane, palay, coconut, and mango and aquafarms (fishponds, fish pens, and fish cages) as well as identify areas for census saturation,” Perante told reporters during the launch at the Summit Hotel here.

The region has 4,365 villages but not all will be covered by the survey due to budget constraints while some areas have no farm holdings, according to PSA.

In Negros Oriental, the PSA is also gearing up for the 2022 Census on Agriculture and Fisheries which will kick off on Sept. 4.

PSA-Negros Oriental director and chief statistical analyst Ariel Fortuito said the census for this particular sector is conducted every 10 years.

“This is called the 2022 Census on Agriculture and Fisheries even though it is conducted this September 2023 because the reference period of the PSA covers January 2022 up to December 31, 2022 data,” Fortuito said.

“We will be gathering information on the current state of agriculture and fisheries in the country and gather data to update the government’s plans and programs for them,” he added.

Fortuito said the agriculture and fisheries sector needs censuses especially as the Philippines is largely an agriculture and fisheries-based economy.

Evaluators are now ready for the house-to-house census from Sept. 4 until the second week of October, unless there are unforeseen events such as typhoons which could extend the census period, he added.

For the first time, CAF will be carried out using tablets through computer-assisted personal interviews and will be using artificial intelligence.

The data for this census will be used by government planners and policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders to formulate decisions that can foster growth, enhance productivity, development and equitable distribution of resources.

“The information will guide planners in prioritizing the improvement of the agricultural and fishery production processes and welfare of farmers and fishers who are the backbone of our economy,” Perante added. (PNA)