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EO Clinic: Agricultural Statistics Data Collection Support in the Cook Islands



EO Clinic support requested by: Asian Development Bank (ADB), Statistics and Data Innovation Unit within the Office of the Chief Economist and Director General (EROD-SDI) of the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department (ERCD)
Requesting activity: Data for Development (Phase II) – KSTA 9646
Requesting activity type: Knowledge Support Technical Assistance (KSTA)

EO Clinic relevant Thematic Groups: TG1 (Agriculture)

Work Order number: EOC0026
Work Order status: Under Execution
Work Order start: 2021 Nov 26
Work Order end:


Agriculture and fisheries remain at the forefront of Cook Islands economic growth strategy. The agriculture sector provides a livelihood for many people and is important for food production and food security. The country’s development strategy focuses on increasing agricultural production to improve food security and nutrition, within the framework of sustainable natural resources management and improving quality of life. The key to crafting effective policies to support these goals is the availability of reliable statistics. Three agricultural censuses were undertaken in the country – in 1988, 2000, and 2011. The Government has decided to carry out another census: the Census of Agriculture and Fisheries 2021 (CoA 2021) to gather data on changes in the structure of the agriculture sector over the last ten years, as well as key data to help monitor the SDGs.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Knowledge Support Technical Assistance (KSTA) 9646 Data for Development (Phase II) aims to enhance the capacity of the national statistical systems (NSSs) of selected developing member countries in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The KSTA’s intended impact is increased data-driven monitoring of development goals and evidence-based policymaking. Its expected outcome is enhanced capacity of NSSs to meet the data requirements of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The Sampling component particularly for the agricultural statistics of KSTA 9646 will focus on the implementation of a post-census validation activity in selected pilot countries, including in the Cook Islands, to fine-tune the results of the country’s Census of Agriculture. The activities will focus on the application of sampling techniques and employment of land measurement methods to validate national parcel area estimates significant at the provincial level. Further, ADB will support the implementing agency in comparing the farmer estimates with satellite-based location data, and possible use of remote sensing data as an auxiliary data source. The results of the data collection will be used to improve the census data estimates on agricultural landholdings, which form the basis for various program planning activities and policy formulation in the agriculture sector.

Problems to be Addressed and Geospatial Information Gaps

The collaboration between ADB and the Cook Islands Ministry of Agriculture aims to assess the utility of an area sampling frame approach to estimate the area of land utilised for crop production. In the area frame approach, the sampling units for enumeration are defined by a geometric grid, usually points, squares, or circles. A multistage stratified approach can then be implemented based on an area frame to select a sample of grids within each stratum of land cover and/or land use, depending on the survey objective.

For census and survey mapping, an accurate land use and land cover map would provide an updated baseline that can be useful in several phases of statistical analysis, more specifically in relation to stratification. Subsequently, this enables the generation of an updated frame that improves the efficiency of sample allocation, selection, and estimation.

Information Services to be Delivered

  • Service 1: Land Use/Land Cover Mapping
  • Service 2: Expansion of Coverage
  • Service 3: Concept Note for a Future Service on Further Pilot Areas


Prime contractor
  • World from Space (CZ)