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13 June 2002
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says the 2002 Agricultural Census will provide vital information for the agriculture, forestry and horticulture sectors and for government planning.
The joint census, conducted by Statistics New Zealand and MAF, will be the first comprehensive survey of the agricultural sector since 1994.
MAF senior policy analyst, Mieke Wensvoort says it is clear that there has been significant change in agricultural production in this country in the past eight years.
She says it is important that the extent of the change is known because sound economic policies for the agricultural sector are dependent on accurate statistics and reliable forecasts.
"Farmers and growers can help produce quality statistics by ensuring that the information they provide is as accurate as possible," she says.
The 2002 census will gather information about all agricultural activity including livestock numbers, horticultural crops, grain and arable cropping and forestry.
Farmers will also be asked to provide farm details and information about related activities such as irrigation, land use and the area devoted to organic cropping and livestock farming.
Information about the agricultural and horticultural sectors from this survey will become available next February while regional information will be available in May.
The census results will be released in the form of aggregated statistics only and will be available to all New Zealanders. The 2002 results will be placed on the SNZ and MAF web sites.
Any farmers or growers with questions are encouraged to contact the Statistics New Zealand Survey Help Desk on email firstname.lastname@example.org (0800 333 104 toll free) or Peter Benzie on email@example.com (09 357 2144.)
For more information contact Mieke Wensvoort on 04-474 4278 (MAF).
For agricultural statistics visitwww.maf.govt.nz/statistics
For information on the 2002 Census visit http://www.stats.govt.nz/AgricultureCensus2002