Making Information Work for Agriculture: Making Information Work for Agriculture: Making Information Work for Agriculture: Making Information Work for Agriculture:
We often hear about 'declining growth rates', or 'declining shares of agricultural GDP', or 'exportsincreased by 5%', etc.
These conclusions are based on economic indicators that measure the status for aparticular point in time, or change between points in time.An ‘Indicator’ it is like a ‘pointer’ or ‘marker’ for asomething, at a point in time that has value andexpresses meanings. It is more than a statistic and isbased on accepted indicators to measure progress ormovement toward a stated goal or target. Indicatorsare quantitative and must be measurable. Indicatorscan help countries to track progress, measureperformance, identify trouble spots and show-upimportant trends. This information is part of what isneeded to enable policy makers, business anddevelopment organisations to redefine goals, realignand monitor strategic actions and adopt furtherdecisions to improve agriculture and rural life at thenational, regional and hemispheric levels.The MEAgrISys project has defined a set of Indicatorsas the basis for measuring performance in each of the macro objectives (national and sectoral) and eachof the Cell Purposes (micro level). The importance of establishing credible and measurable PerformanceIndicators at the micro level cannot be understated.A sample of a list of variables (main topics) that canbe used to determine progress at the macro andmicro level, for which Indicators were defined toguide data collection, analysis and reporting isprovided for two of the development dimensions,namely Economic (production and trade) andEcological.
EconomicEconomicEconomicEconomic - Macro
Cell ICell ICell ICell I:::: promotecompetitive ruralenterprisesCell II:Cell II:Cell II:Cell II: Integrate chains, fosterlinkages and enhanceproductivityCell III:Cell III:Cell III:Cell III: Promote enablingnational policies forcompetitive business
Position of Agriculturein National Economy;
Trade Dependenceand Performance;
Rural entrepreneursand InnovativeCapacity;
Entrepreneurial Activity andInnovative Capacity;
Chain organisation andintegration;
Private Sector Investment;
Macroeconomic PolicyEnvironment andInstitutional Support;
Trade Policy Regime andExtent of Openness;EcologicalEcologicalEcologicalEcological - MacroEnvironmentalSustainabilityCell IVCell IVCell IVCell IV: promotecompetitive ruralenterprisesCellCellCellCell VVVV:::: Integrate chains, fosterlinkages and enhanceproductivityCellCellCellCell VVVV:::: Promote enablingnational policies forcompetitive business
Status and quality of natural resources:water, land, forests,fisheries,
Resource Vulnerabilityand Degradation
Quality and use of natural resources in/close proximity to ruralareas;
Application of sustainableresource management (SRM)principles;
Utilisation of Agro-chemicals;
Capacity for Risk and DisasterManagement in the Chain;
Integration of SRM inPublic Policy andPlanning;
Natural Hazard andDisaster Managementand Adaptation toClimate Change;
The MEAgrISys project has defined a set of
as a base for measuringperformance
in eachof the seven macro objectives and each of the micro purposes as defined by the 12 Cells of the AgRu-matrix,and as illustrated above. Using these indicators, countries and institutions can make more informed decisionson where capacity already exists to collect them and prioritise those in which capacities should be developed.