Wed, 12 10 1441 | 03 Jun 2020

Agricultural Production Survey Methodology

Methodology Introduction.

 

 

 

 

Introduction

The General Authority for Statistics (GaStat) applies in all its statistical work a unified methodology that conforms with the nature of each statistical product. It depends on the Handbook of Statistical Work Procedures, which is compatible with internationally approved procedures. Statistical products go through eight major stages, in addition to a ninth stage represented in the comprehensive “management” stage, which is illustrated in the following figure and the subsequent explanations:

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first three stages (scope, design and organization) are collaborative stages between GaStat and its clients who are data users from development entities. The fourth stage (data collection) is a collaborative stage between GaStat and the statistical population to complete data and information. The remaining stages (disaggregation, reviewing and publication) are statistical and are undertaken by GaStat. Afterwards, the eighth stage (assessment) is again done in collaboration with the clients. The management stage is administrative and organizational and spans all other stages. Those stages have been applied to the agricultural production survey as follows:

 

First Stage: Scope

This is the starting stage to carry out the Agricultural Production Survey. This is also the first collaborative stage between GaStat and relevant entities from (the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia (MEWA); the Agricultural Development Fund; and the Saudi Grains Organization). This stage included workshops and meetings between GaStat and these entities, who are considered to be the most important beneficiaries of the survey, to understand their needs and requirements, while taking their input into consideration, in order to ensure all the objectives of the Agricultural Production Survey are met. These objectives are summed up as follows:

  1. Supporting decision-makers, policymakers, researchers, and those who are interested in getting comprehensive and updated statistics on agricultural production in Saudi Arabia.
  2. Providing annual data on crop and livestock production and identifying productivity components and production methods.
  3. Providing updated statistics on:
  • Cultivated area, total production, quantity of lost production, self-consumption quantity, sold production, and farm gate value of field crops (grains and fodder) and open field vegetables according to crop type, status, irrigation method, and agricultural season.
  • Cultivated area, number of greenhouses, total production, lost production quantity, self-consumption quantity, sold production, and farm gate value of protected vegetables and cut flowers according to crop type, status, and greenhouse type.
  • Total production quantities and numbers, lost production quantity, self-consumption quantity, sold production, farm gate value of palm trees, number of fruitful palm trees according to tree type, and irrigation method.
  • Total production quantities and numbers, lost production quantity, self-consumption quantity, sold production, and farm gate value of evergreen trees (except for palm trees), number of fruitful trees according to tree type, and irrigation method.
  • Livestock (sheep, goat, camel, cow) by type, breed, age group and sex.
  • An Estimation of total production, lost production quantity, self-consumption quantity, and sold production of milk and dairy products, organic fertilizers, as well as the numbers of births, and deaths for sheep, goats, camels and cows.
  • Number of domestic poultry by type, number and value of sold poultry, as well as egg production for chicken.
  • Number of beehives, total production, lost production quantity, self-consumption quantity, sold production, and farm gate value of honey by beehive type.
  • Quantity and value of agricultural production requirements used during the year of agricultural surveys.
  • Agricultural holding land usage.

This stage will also ensure that the published statistics will contribute to meeting the requirements of Saudi Vision 2030, in addition to meeting regional and international requirements.

 

Second Stage: Design

It is the stage of designing statistical work as an integrated product. It also involves identifying the statistical population, designing the statistical framework and the survey sample, designing the survey questionnaire, identifying the method and tools of data collection and identifying the sampling units. Clients are made partners in all these procedures to benefit from their observations, meet all requirements and ensure that they are part of the statistical product.

The most important outputs of this stage are:

         1.  The Statistical Population:

The target statistical population of the Agricultural Production Survey consists of all the agricultural holdings in the KSA.

   

       2. Statistical Sources:

The Agricultural Production Survey depends for its data on a field survey conducted by GaStat on a yearly basis and for the first time in 2018. The survey falls under the category of “agricultural statistics” and collects data through a representative sample of holding visits spread out across all administrative regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and an electronic questionnaire containing multiple questions. Estimates and indicators regarding agricultural production (crops and livestock) in the Kingdom are consequently obtained.

 

      3. Agricultural Production Survey Terminology and Concepts:

  • Agricultural Year: For the purposes of agricultural surveys, the crop production agricultural year starts on (1/3/2017) and ends on (28/2/2018), corresponding to (3/6/1438 - 12/6/1439 AH).

For the holdings’ livestock and poultry statistics, however, (31/12/2017), corresponding to (13/4/1439 AH, counts as the reference day).   

  • Agricultural Season: The agricultural season is divided into two main types, namely:
  1. Winter Season: Winter crops are grown during this season, and its production cycle is less than a year. Crops are usually planted between: November and the end of December, and are harvested by March each year, whether the crops are cultivated in open fields, or under evergreen crops like fruitful trees. Some examples of winter season crops include: (onions, garlic, carrots, peas, cauliflower, celery, arugula, spinach, lettuce, and radish ...).
  2. Summer Season: Summer crops are grown during this season, and its production cycle is less than a year. Crops are usually planted during: March, April and May, and are harvested during: August and September of each year, whether in open fields or under evergreen crops. Examples of summer season crops include: (watermelon, melon, tomato, cucumber, eggplant, okra, pumpkin, mallow, and beans...).
  • Cropping System: The method used in growing crops.
  • Harvested Area: The actual area of crop production. In the case of sequential cropping on the same land within the same year, the area is recorded as many times as it is cultivated to yield the total harvested area.
  • Open Field Agriculture: Cultivating fields with crops without protection from weather conditions.
  • Protected Agriculture: The cultivation of crops in greenhouses (areas covered in glass, plastic or another material) to protect them from weather conditions, such as light, temperatures, air and humidity. This creates a favorable environment for different kinds of plants to grow throughout the year. This method is usually used for cultivating vegetables and cut flowers.

The following are different types of greenhouses:

  1. Regular plastic:Made from single or air-inflated double polyethylene, this is the most widespread type of greenhouse, and lasts for one year.
  2. Air-conditioned plastic: The only difference between this type and the regular plastic greenhouses is that it is equipped with artificial air-conditioning.
  3. Glass: As a covering material, glass allows good light transmission (88%) and lasts the longest among greenhouse types.
  4. Fiberglass: Also called glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), it is made from plastic, glass fibers and a binding material. It is more durable and lasts longer than plastic houses.
  5. Other types: Greenhouses made from other materials.
  • Holding: It is an economic unit of agricultural production, in both crops and livestock, under single management, comprising all kept livestock and all land used totally or partially for agricultural production purposes regardless of ownership, legal form or area. The holding may be run by one single person or by a household. It also may be run jointly by two or more individuals or households. Such management may be undertaken by a juridical person such as a corporation, cooperative, government agency, etc. The land of the holding may consist of one or more parcels under one name, on the condition that the parcels shall share the same means of production, such as workforce or agricultural machinery and equipment. The  association may be obvious and visible to be considered one economic unit.
  • Holding Type: There are two types of holdings:
  1. Traditional holding(unregulated): It is the most common type of agricultural holding in the Kingdom. Traditional holdings do not require previous approval or licenses from concerned authorities, and their production activities may be crops based, livestock based, or both.
  2. Specialized holding(regulated): This type of holding includes the preapproved holdings (projects) that have acquired licenses from the concerned authorities after submitting technical and economic studies for the establishment of such holdings, whether they are holdings specialized in crops, livestock, poultry or fishery production, or projects that mainly adopt modern unconventional irrigation methods, the use of agricultural mechanization and modern technology in agricultural production and specialization in production with regard to open or protected agriculture, raising cows to produce milk or fattening calves, sheep and poultry.
  • Main Activity of the Holding: The main activity of a holding is the prevailing activity carried out by the holding which is consistent with its economic revenues, such that it represents more than 50% of the annual income of that holding.

For the purposes of this agricultural census, the main activities of holdings have been divided into five categories:

  1. Crop Holding: A holding in which the agricultural activity represents more than 50% of its annual income during an agricultural year, depending on various permanent and temporary winter and summer crops. 
  2. Livestock Holding: A holding in which the livestock activity represents more than 50% of its annual income during an agricultural year, depending on various types of animal resources and livestock farmed on the holding (lamb, sheep, camel, cow, riding and draught animals) and on beehives.
  3. Poultry Holding: A holding in which the poultry production activity represents more than 50% of its annual income during an agricultural year, depending on various types of poultry (boiler chicken, laying chicken, parent chicken, grandparent chicken, free range chicken, other birds such as ostrich, duck, goose, or quail). Rabbits are also considered poultry.
  4. Fish Holding: A holding in which fish production activity represents more than 50% of its annual income during an agricultural year, depending on the farming and aquaculture of fish in internal ponds such as farms dedicated to fish or shrimp production.
  5. Mixed Holding: When the activity at the holding is mixed and none of its components represent more than 50% of the holding’s annual income during an agricultural year, provided that the holding practices three or more different activities from the following crops, livestock, poultry or fish activities, and that each component represents less than 50% of the holding’s activity.
  • Legal Status: The legal status can be one of the following: individual, establishment, company, partnership, government entity, cooperative, etc. They are defined as follows:
  1. Individual: It is the common status found in traditional holdings where the holder is one person or one household where all members of the household work together to conduct agricultural operations and produce goods.
  2. Establishment: It is the status chosen by holders who want to invest their holdings in the form of a single establishment with a set regulation, an officially recognized legal name registered at official entities, and has a commercial registration.
  3. Company: A term used to indicate a legal status that is officially registered under a legal name according to the Saudi Companies’ Law. The holding’s capital is owned by a number of individuals or entities that all form a private company, regardless of the type (partnership, joint stock, limited partnership, limited liability, etc.)
  4. Partnership: Any form of partnership concluded between two people or more to manage, fund, and invest in a holding. One of the partners may be a work partner and the other a funding partner whereby the two divide production revenues according to an agreement. The effective holder in this case is considered to be the partner responsible for managing the holding, or the partner whose place of residence is the holding if he lives on the holding’s land.
  5. Government Entity: The holder is a government entity when the holding belongs to a government entity that has the power to dispose of its resources and to manage it, either directly or through a paid manager or establishment.
  6. Co-operative: A co-operative status applies to collaborative work that takes a separate status from the individuals who make up the cooperative organization. Each member of the co-op in this case has the right to vote on administrative, production, and organizational decisions regardless of their funding contribution or financial contribution to its investments.
  7. Other:Any legal form not mentioned above. The legal status should be specified in this case.
  • Main Purpose of Production: The main purpose of production may be:
  1. Sale: When more than 50% of the production value achieved from various holding activities during an agricultural year is allocated for sale. Production granted to third parties outside the holder’s household is considered up for sale.
  2. Consumption:When more than 50% of the production value achieved from various holding activities during an agricultural year is allocated for the household’s direct consumption as is common in simple traditional holdings.
  • Agricultural Production: The plant production of an agricultural holding, such as crops, vegetables, and evergreen trees; as well as all animal and livestock production. It includes grains, fodder, open-field and protected vegetables, cut flowers, fruits (including dates), as well as sheep, goat, cow and camel count; milk and dairy products, number of boiler chicken, table eggs, chicks, hatchery eggs, fish, ostrich and quail eggs and meat, and amount of rabbit meat and honey, in addition to secondary products, such as organic fertilizers and ostrich feathers and skin.
  • Average farm-gate value of a cultivated product: The average price for the sale of of a cultivated product direct from the producer within the year. It is is the market value of a product minus the selling costs (transport costs, marketing costs).
  •    Holding Irrigation Method: The holding is irrigated in one of the following ways:
  1. Flooding Irrigation: It is one of the oldest and most-used methods to irrigate the holding’s cultivated lands. This method relies on watering crops by using surface earthen canals to distribute water among crops.
  2. Modern Irrigation: Modern irrigation includes all methods applied to irrigate holding cultivated lands through a modern irrigation system such as drip irrigation, pivot or stationary sprinkler irrigation, gun sprinkler irrigation or any other modern irrigation method. In most cases, these techniques are used in large,specialized and modern holdings that have special irrigation systems. Some of the most prominent modern irrigation methods are:
    • Drip irrigation:Drip irrigation is a type of irrigation system that has the potential to save water and nutrients by allowing water to drip slowly and constantly near the base of the plant through a system of tubing, pipes, valves and emitters. This method of irrigation leads to increased agricultural production as it facilitates the addition of fertilizers and controls the amount of water that reaches the plants which reduces the growth of weeds and saves the amount of water used in the irrigation process.
    • Sprinkler irrigation: Sprinkler irrigation is a method of applying irrigation water which is similar to natural rainfall. Water is distributed through a system of pipes usually by pumping at a certain pressure. It is then sprayed into the air through sprinklers so that it breaks up into small water drops which fall to the ground and cover the entire area with water. This method is often used to irrigate field crops such as wheat, barley and alfalfa.​
    • ain Irrigation: This method relies on rain to water the holding cultivated lands. This system is widely used in the south of KSA in general.
    • Other: Any irrigation method other than the above mentioned methods.
  • Cropping System: The method used in growing crops, which is one of 3 types:
  1. Monocropping: Cultivating a single type of crop in an area designated for that crop alone, for example growing only tomatoes or cucumbers.
  2. Intercropping: Planting crops under evergreen trees in part or all of the field. The temporary crop proportion is recorded separately, while the total evergreen crop proportion counts as the total area.
  3. Sequential cropping: Growing two crops in the same field, one after the other in the same year. The area of each crop is recorded separately while planting or growing them. Therefore, an area would be recorded twice if two different crops are grown in it in the same year. It is worth noting, that sequential cropping should not be confused with sequential harvest of the same crop, where the area is recorded only once.

 

       4.   Indicators:

The Bulletin includes many results and indicators regarding agricultural production, mainly:

Key Indicators
  1. Number of agricultural holdings with land by crop group per administrative region in the Kingdom, 2017.
  2. Fodder cultivated and harvested area by irrigation method per administrative region in the Kingdom, 2017.
  3. Vegetable cultivated and harvested area by greenhouse type per administrative region in the Kingdom, 2017.
  4. Cut flower cultivated and harvested area by greenhouse type per administrative region in the Kingdom, 2017.
  5. Total number of palm trees, fruitful palm trees, total production and total sold production quantity and value by type across the Kingdom, 2017.
  6. Total number of evergreen trees (except palm trees), fruitful evergreen trees, total production and total sold production quantity and value by type across the Kingdom, 2017.
  7. Number of farm animals by type across the administrative regions in the Kingdom, end of 2017.
  8. Number of sheep by age and sex, and number of milking females across all breeds by administrative region in the Kingdom, end of 2017.
  9. Number of goats by age and sex, and number of milking females across all breeds by administrative region in the Kingdom, end of 2017.
  10. Number of camels by age and sex, and number of milking females across all breeds by administrative region in the Kingdom, end of 2017.
  11. Number of cows by age and sex, and number of milking females across all breeds by administrative region in the Kingdom, end of 2017.
  12. Total cow milk production, and total sold production quantity and value per administrative region in the Kingdom, 2017
  13. Number of riding and draught animals by type across the administrative regions in the Kingdom, end of 2017.
  14. Number of beehives, including the number of purchased, sold and damaged beehives of all kinds across the administrative regions in the Kingdom, 2017.

       5.    Adopted Statistical Classifications:

Classification is defined as being an arranged set of related categories used for data collection according to similarity. It is the basis for collecting and publishing data in all statistical fields, such as economic activity, products, expenditures, jobs or health,  etc). The classification of data and information by assigning them to meaningful categories allows for the production of useful statistics. Data collection requires accurate and systematic arrangement based on similar features so that statistics can be reliable and comparable. The agricultural production survey is subject to international standards with regard to the collection and classification of their data. The survey relies on the World Programme for the Census of Agriculture 2020 of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The programme provides support and guidance for countries to conduct national agricultural censuses and surveys. It also offers an overview of the state of the agricultural sector in a given country, inclusive of holding area, agricultural holding, land uses, harvested plots, irrigation, livestock, workforce and other agricultural inputs. Such information is vital for agricultural planning, policymaking, research and development, as well as monitoring the effect of agriculture on the environment. 

 

       6.  Design of Survey Questionnaire:

The survey questionnaire was drafted and designed by agricultural survey experts at GaStat. International recommendations, standards, and definitions were considered during the design of these questionnaires, which were presented to agricultural statistics experts and specialists. They were also presented to concerned entities for insight and comments. The questions were redrafted based on a specific scientific approach aimed at unifying the structure of questions asked by researchers.  

The questionnaire was divided into 7 thematic sections to improve the efficiency of complying with technical standards during the field work stage; these sections are:
Geographic and distinctive data Identification details Crops Livestock
Beehives Agricultural production requirements of the farm during the previous year Holding land usage Data

 

Examples of what is included in the Agricultural Production Survey questionnaire: 
  • Administrative region, governorate, center, population name, holding number, holding coordinates.
  • Name of the holder (or holding), phone number, total area.
  • Crop name, crop status, crop area, agricultural season.
  • Type of greenhouse, number of greenhouses, total area of greenhouses.
  • Type of tree, total number of trees, number of fruitful trees.
  • Holding livestock numbers, Holding livestock production within a year, number of beehives and honey production.
  • Land use, total area in dunam, grazing area in dunam.
  • Total production, production loss, production used for personal consumption, sold production, average farm-gate selling price per tonne.

The complete questionnaire can be viewed and downloaded through GaStat’s official website

 

After being approved, the survey questionnaire will be  transformed into an electronic questionnaire that can be handled through an advanced data collection system using tablet devices. The system has the following features:
  1. Reviewing the work zone of the field researcher (survey sample).
  2. Reaching the sample (agricultural holding) using the map on the tablet device.
  3. Completing data of high quality using data check rules and navigation to automatically detect input errors and illogical inputs while the completion of the data is underway.
  4. Establishing communication between supervising entities by exchanging notes with field researchers.

   

    7.    Coverage:

    7.1  Spatial Coverage:

The Agricultural Production Survey covers data related to agricultural production in all 13 administrative regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which are: Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Qassim, Eastern Region, Asir, Tabuk, Hail, Northern Borders, Jazan, Najran, Al-Baha, and Al-Jouf. A scientifically selected sample is visited in each region representing the region’s holdings.

    7.2  Temporal Coverage:

The data of the agricultural production survey in terms of agricultural production and numbers of livestock and poultry are assigned as follows:

  1. Day of Visiting the Holding:
  • The data concerning the holder and his household members is dated on the day the questionnaire is filled (the day the researcher visited the agricultural holding).
  • The remaining data in the questionnaire is for the year 2017 (1/1/2017 until 31/12/2017 corresponding to 3/4/1438 AH until 13/4/1439 AH).

       2.  During the agricultural year between (1/3/2017) and (28/2/2018), corresponding to (3/6/1438 AH) to (12/6/1439 AH).

       3.  The last day of the calendar year 31/12/2017 corresponds to 13/4/1439 AH.

 

   8.   Statistical Framework:

  • The 2015 agricultural census framework was used as a list containing all population items.
  • Lists, maps and analytical standards of the units were set in order to choose data providers (agricultural holders).
  • The required descriptive data were identified in order to create the statistical framework, create the test framework, verify them, and use them for the current survey round.

 

    9.  ​Sample Design:

  1. The survey population was divided into separate parts whose units are relatively homogenous. Each part was a layer, and each layer an independent population.
  2. Then, a random sample was selected independently from each layer. Finally, all sample units were combined to form the full unit.
  3. The sample framework was designed in layers based on administrative regions and type of holding (traditional or specialized). After that, the holding sample was weighted in a manner proportional to its size, and sample units were picked from each layer separately using regular random selection, which produced a final sample of (19,513) holdings across the kingdom.
  4. The optimal sample unit selection methodology was prepared with the aim of providing high-quality outputs with minimum burden on data providers using well-known statistical methods, such as rotation and controlling overlaps.
  5. The descriptive data required for establishing the statistical framework was selected and the sample was specified.
  6. The sample was then tested, evaluated, validated and used in the current survey round.
  7. The sampling unit for agricultural surveys is the agricultural holding.
Sampling Units of the Agricultural Production Survey:
The basic sampling units are the enumeration areas. They are sampling units drawn in the first stage of designing the survey sample. Holdings are considered secondary and ultimate sampling units at the same time. They are sampling units drawn in the second stage of designing the survey sample. Each secondary sampling unit is considered a part of the basic sampling units.
 

Third Stage: Organization:

It is the final preparation stage preceding the visits to agricultural holdings and data collection. In this stage, the required workflow procedures are established for preparing the Agricultural Production Survey, starting with the collection stage and ending with the assessment stage and the organization and grouping of such procedures. The optimal sequence of those procedures is chosen to arrive at a methodology that achieves the goals of the survey. Those procedures were also described and documented to facilitate any updates to them in future rounds. The statistical workflow procedures were tested and examined to ensure their compliance with the requirements of preparing the Agricultural Production Survey in its final form, approve the procedures of the statistical workflow, and put a road map for implementation.

Testing the efficiency of input systems and the process of transmitting, synchronizing and reviewing data through either the tablet or office system of the agricultural production survey are the main procedures in this stage.

Agricultural Production Survey Data Collection: 
First:
The survey’s sample was selected by identifying 19,513 holdings as a representative sample for the survey population in the Kingdom, distributed across administrative regions as follows:  

Administrative Region Number of Holdings Administrative Region Number of Holdings Administrative Region Number of Holdings
Riyadh 3,618 Asir 2,491 Najran 499
Makkah 2,600 Tabuk 922 Al-Baha 437
Madinah 687 Hail 1,166 Al-Jouf 921
Qassim 2,309 Northern Borders 28  
Eastern Region 2,556 Jazan 1,279

Second: The workers, who were nominated as field researchers and would later visit agricultural holdings to collect the agricultural production survey data, were chosen on the basis of several practical and objective criteria related to the nature of work, such as:

  • Educational level.
  • Fieldwork experience.
  •  Personal attributes, such as: good conduct, good senses and physical and psychological fitness.
  • Candidate’s success in the training program of the agricultural production survey.
  • The candidate must not be under the age of 20.

Third: All candidates (GaStat staff and collaborators from some government entities) were qualified and trained through special training programs as follows:

  • A training program was held for competent staff members in GaStat’s headquarters for one week.
  • Similar training programs were held for collaborating inspectors, observers, and researchers from all the regions of Saudi Arabia. 
The training programs offered to field researchers tasked with collecting the agricultural production survey data include:  Practical and hands-on lectures on technical, technological, administrative, and awareness materials that are used in data collection processes. Field researchers are also introduced to the survey’s objectives, the data collection method, and how to use maps and reach the holdings. The training programs also include a detailed explanation of all questions on the questionnaire, as well as any technical and administrative tasks. Field researchers are also trained on how to deal with the public and how to ask the questions in record time. 
 

At the beginning of the training program, all trainees are provided with tablet devices that enable them to do the following:

  • Read the instructions manual and know its content as it will guide the researcher during the data collection process.
  • Read the electronic questionnaire of the survey and explore how to fill it during pertinent steps of the workshops that accompany the training program.
  • Log in to the “Training Program’s Automated Assessment System”, where the trainees can express their opinions about the training program through assessing its level in order to improve the quality of future training programs.
  • Log in to the “Trainees’ Automated Assessment System” at the end of the training program, which is used to determine the trainees’ comprehension level of the survey’s concepts and instructions.

Staff members are nominated to participate in the survey based on their results that are automatically obtained from the “Trainees’ Automated Assessment System” to guarantee promptness, precision, and impartiality upon appointing the candidates and their competences.

 

Fourth: The method of direct contact with agricultural holders was adopted in the process of filling out the survey’s questionnaire and collecting the data. Field researchers visited the agricultural holdings located within the survey sample after reaching them using coordinates recorded on tablets and guiding maps. The field researchers then identified themselves through providing the official documents that prove their identities as statistical field researchers, and explained the purposes of their visits while presenting an overview of the survey and its objectives. Finally, they filled out the electronic questionnaires and collected the data by talking with the agricultural holders. In the cases were no holder was available, the data was collected from any member of the holding with knowledge of its affairs.

Fifth: All field researchers use tablet devices to collect the survey questionnaire data according to timeframes specified for navigating the survey sections and the questionnaire items.

Sixth: Field researchers at work locations across the Kingdom used the “synchronization” feature available on the tablet devices to download and transfer the collected data on agricultural holdings directly to a linked database at GaStat’s headquarters where they are stored to be reviewed and processed at a later stage.

Seventh: Electronic check rules were applied to guarantee that the data entered in the agricultural production survey questionnaire was coherent, accurate and logical. They are electronic rules that identify contradictions and were designed using a logical link between the answers on the questionnaire and its variables to help field researchers directly identify any errors when collecting data from agricultural holders through the questionnaire. The programmed formula does not allow for any mistakes to go through when an answer contradicts with another piece of information or another answer in the questionnaire.

Eighth: The collected data were verified through being reviewed by the field researcher, their inspector and the survey supervisor in the supervision area. All work areas were subjected to a monitoring and reviewing process from the Data Quality Room at GaStat’s headquarters. The room also controls and monitors the performance of all working groups in the field during the data collection process, starting from the first day and until the last. 

Data Quality Room:

It is an operations room that works simultaneously with the field works for the surveys. It is equipped with all sorts of electronic follow-up tools and monitoring and tracking screens. The observers and quality specialists in the room review the consistency of data and detect error cases and extreme values during the data collection process that is taking place in the field. That is done by instantly and immediately following up what is being completed by the field researcher to check the researchers’ commitment to the instructions on the survey, ensure the rationality, accuracy and reliability of data and review some important survey indicators to ensure data accuracy. The room undertakes several tasks, mainly:

Reviewing collected data and sending comments to field teams of all levels through an automated office system connected to the tablet devices used by researchers, so that they can get the comments automatically and instantly on site.

Contacting agricultural holders by phone and asking them some of the questions on the questionnaire to check that the researchers collected the data correctly and complied with instructions during their visits. These calls also seek to obtain any missing data and to thank the holders for their collaboration.

Responding to any field enquiries, whether from field researchers or agricultural holders.

Checking the accuracy of the location where the questionnaire was completed by matching the location’s coordinates to those registered in the sample file.

 

Fifth Stage: Disaggregation of Data

The disaggregation of raw data for the specialized agricultural projects survey relied on the classification and coding inputs of the data collection stage, as the disaggregation was based on the guidelines of the World Programme for the Census of Agriculture 2020 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Data from to the Agricultural Production Survey has been displayed in suitable tables to facilitate summarizing, understanding and drawing conclusions from them, as well as comparing them to other data, observing statistical significance as they relate to the study’s population, and viewing data without the need to go back the original questionnaires. These tables contain data such as:  the names of agricultural holders, the addresses of agricultural holdings, and the names of survey respondents in violation of the principle of statistical data confidentiality. In this stage, data is processed through a number of steps, mainly:

First: Verifying data comprehensiveness and rationality:

 Data was reviewed to ensure its comprehensiveness and rationality, in addition to cross-referencing it to ensure its accuracy and correctness in a way that suits the nature of the data. Results were derived and reviewed in the stages following the disaggregation of data to enhance the quality and accuracy of the statistics.

Second: Data anonymization:

To ensure data anonymity, GaStat removed respondent identifiers from the field survey data, such as holder’s name, holding address and other information, in order to protect people’s privacy.

 

 

First: Verifying data outputs: 

After reviewing and verifying the accumulated data of the agricultural production survey, GaStat conducted at this stage processes of calculating and extracting results and uploaded and stored them on the database. The final reviewing processes were conducted by specialists in agricultural statistics using modern technologies and software designed for the purposes of reviewing and checking.

Second: Handling of confidential data:

Pursuant to Royal Decree No.23 dated 07/12/1397, GaStat is committed to the absolute confidentiality of all completed data and not using them except for statistical purposes. Therefore, data are safely stored on GaStat’s servers.

No individual data on agricultural holdings or holders shall be disclosed in any way. Materials set for publication are only aggregated statistical tables at the level of the Kingdom, the administrative regions and the major cities. 

First: Preparing the results set for publishing:

In this stage, GaStat uploads data results from the agricultural production survey database. It then prepares publication tables and graphics for the data and indicators, and adds description and methodology information as seen in this Bulletin. These are prepared in both Arabic and English. 

Second: Preparing media material and announcing the bulletin’s release date:

After announcing the bulletin’s release date on its official website at the beginning of the calendar year, GaStat prepares the required media materials to announce the bulletin’s release on all media outlets, as well as its various social media platforms. The announcement will be made on the date set for publication. The bulletin will be published on the official website in various templates of open data in Excel format which will be available on the website’s statistics library. This guarantees its circulation and access to all clients and parties interested in housing statistics.

Third: Communicating with clients and providing them with the bulletin:

GaStat pays great importance to communicating with clients who use its data. Therefore, GaStat contacts clients upon the release of the agricultural production survey bulletin to provide them with it. GaStat also receives questions and enquiries from clients regarding the bulletin and its results through various communication channels. Clients can contact GaStat to request data. Questions and inquiries are received via: 

  • GaStat’s official website: www.stats.gov.sa 
  • GaStat’s official email: info@stats.gov.sa
  • Client support email: cs@stats.gov.sa
  • Visiting GaStat’s headquarters in Riyadh or one of its branches in the regions of the Kingdom.
  • Official Letters.
  • By statistical phone: (920020081).

Fourth: Published Content Preservation:

GaStat’s Documents and Archives Center stored and archived the data of this bulletin to refer to it at any time upon request. GaStat took that step out of its awareness of the importance of electronically preserving this data to easily refer to it whenever needed. 

 

After the bulletin is released and received by all GaStat’s clients, the clients are contacted again in this stage which allows for assessing the whole statistical process that was carried out, with the aim of constant improvement to obtain high-quality data. The improvements may include  methodologies, processes, systems, statistical researchers’ skill and statistical frameworks. This stage is done in collaboration with data users and GaStat’s clients through a number of steps:

First: Collecting measurable assessment inputs:

Main comments and remarks are collected and documented from their sources at all stages, including those collected and documented during the collection stage, such as: comments and remarks presented by data collectors and their field supervisors, in addition to data collected and documented during the evaluation stage such as the remarks deduced by specialists concerned with reviewing, checking and analyzing data collected from the field. Finally, comments and remarks presented by data users are collected and documented after publication, in addition to what is being monitored via media outlets or the clients’ remarks which GaStat receives through its main channels.

Second: Evaluation procedure:

Collected assessment inputs are analyzed, and the results of this analysis are compared with pre-anticipated results. Accordingly, potential improvements and solutions are identified and discussed with experts and concerned parties. During this stage, the clients’ use of the results of the Agricultural Production Survey and their satisfaction with it are measured. Based on that, recommendations are developed to enhance the quality of the results of the next Agricultural Production Survey bulletins.

 

A comprehensive stage that spans over all the stages of producing the agricultural production survey bulletin. This stage determines the general production plan, including the feasibility study, risk management, means of funding, disbursement mechanisms, as well as developing performance indicators, quality parameters, human resources map necessary for production, following up on the execution of tasks assigned to all departments in every stage, and making reports to ensure that the GaStat fulfills its commitments towards its clients. 

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