New Delhi, India: The expert committee set up under the chairmanship of Prof A Vaidyanathan to suggest ways to improve agricultural statistics has called for using remote sensing and restructuring the data collection machinery. In its interim report, the Expert Committee has also recommended setting up of National Crop Statistics Centre (NCSC) to deal with all aspects of crop area and yield estimation.
The 14-member committee wants the NCSC as an autonomous and professionally-run organisation, fully funded by the Centre to design, organise and supervise generation of crop area and yield estimates at state and national level.
Fieldwork would be done by the trained staff in the state bureaus, appointed and dedicated exclusively to carry out the programme decided by the NCSC and their cost being borne entirely out of the Central Budget, a statement from Agriculture Ministry said.
The report has brought out the deficiencies in the current system of both area and yield estimation arises from serious lacuna in institutional arrangements to collect, supervise and validate basic data on large scale on diverse crops.
The committee recommended the need for reducing the sample size by improving the design and bringing organisational changes to ensure tighter management and maintenance of high professional standards.
Other members of the committee include Prof S P Mukherjee, chairman, Calcutta Statistical Association, Prof U R Rao, former chairman, Space Commission, Dr S M Jharwal, former principal adviser, Ministry of Agriculture The panel was constituted in pursuance to the recommendations of the steering committee on Agriculture & Allied Sector for the formulation of 11th Five- Year-Plan, set up by Planning Commission for thorough review of schemes for collection of agricultural statistics to create improvements in basic system of agricultural statistics.