Primer on 2012 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries

Release Date: 12 January 2013

2012 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries

What is the Census of Agriculture and Fisheries (CAF)?

It is a large-scale government undertaking that is geared towards the collection and compilation of basic information on the agriculture and fishery sector in the country. The collected data will constitute the bases from which our policy makers and planners will evolve plans for the country’s development.


What agency is responsible for the conduct of Census of Agriculture and Fisheries? What are its legal basis?

The National Statistics Office (NSO) is mandated by Commonwealth Act No. 591 and Executive Order (EO) No. 121 (Reorganizing and Strengthening the Philippine Statistical System (PSS) and for Other Purposes), as the sole agency to undertake the Census of Agriculture and Fisheries. Furthermore, EO No. 352 (Designation of Statistical Activities that will Generate Critical Data for Decision-making of the Government and the Private Sector) provides for the conduct of CAF every 10 years.


How many censuses of agriculture and/or fisheries have been undertaken so far?

The collection of data on agriculture and fisheries establishments was included in the Census of Establishments (CE) in 1903, 1918, 1939, and 1948. However, in 1960, the Census of Agriculture was undertaken separately from CE. Since 1970, and every ten years thereafter, the Census of Agriculture has been conducted together with the Census of Fisheries. These two census activities are collectively known as Census of Agriculture and Fisheries (CAF). The 2012 CAF will be the sixth of a series of decennial census on agriculture and the fifth on fisheries in the country.


How essential is the Census of Agriculture and Fisheries to our national development?

Agriculture remains as an important sector of the Philippine economy as it provided 33 percent of the total employment (NSO, April 2012 Labor Force Survey). The total agro-based products accounted for 7.1% of the total exports of the Philippines in April 2012 (NSO, Foreign Trade Statistics). About 12.5% of the gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2012 came from the agriculture, hunting, fishery and forestry industries (NSCB, 1st Quarter 2012 National Accounts).

An up-to-date information about the sector shall enable economic development planners in this sector to respond to the challenges and opportunities prevailing in the sector. Data and information they need can be provided by the results of the CAF.


What are the basic uses of statistics derived from the Census of Agriculture and Fisheries?

In Government:

  • Making more meaningful decisions with respect to the use of the country’s agricultural and fisheries resources;
  • Providing framework for the country’s development programs for agriculture and fisheries;
  • Local area planning;
  • Measuring progress in agriculture and fisheries sectors.

In Business and Industry:

  • Making projections on production;
  • Planning the quantity and types of commodities that should be produced.

In Research:

  • Conduct research on agriculture and fisheries;
  • Provide sampling frame for the various surveys in agriculture and fisheries;


What are the objectives of the 2012 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries?

  • determine the structural characteristics of agriculture and fishery sectors
  • provide sampling frame for the conduct of census supplementary modules on irrigation and cropping pattern, livestock and poultry, aquaculture and fisheries, and other statistical undertakings
  • provide basic data for use in national as well as subnational development planning
  • provide data on agriculture, aquacultural, and fishery facilities and services in the barangay


How does 2012 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries differ from the previous censuses?

The 2012 CAF will use the census modular approach recommended by World Programme for the Census of Agriculture (WCA) 2010, that is, it will have a core census module and census supplementary modules on selected themes. The 2012 CAF will also have a barangay module.

Census Core Module is similar to the conventional agriculture and fisheries census in the past with core structural data of the said sectors to be collected in all barangays of the country. The NSO is the lead agency that will implement this module.

Census Supplementary Modules covering different topics or themes provide more in-depth structural data, and will be conducted after the core census. The census supplementary modules to be conducted are irrigation and cropping pattern, livestock and poultry, aquaculture and fisheries, and capital formation in agriculture and fisheries. The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) will be the lead agency in the conduct of these modules.

Community (or Barangay) Module introduced for the first time, provides a useful source of data on agriculture and fisheries infrastructure affecting farmer’s incomes and access to agricultural services and facilities. This module and census core module will be conducted at the same time, with NSO as the lead agency.


When will the 2012 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries Core Module be conducted? What is the Reference period?

All households will be visited by census enumerators from February to March 2013. Establishments in agriculture and fisheries will likewise be visited by census supervisors during the same period. The reference period for the 2012 CAF is January to December 2012. However, data on household membership and inventory of livestock and poultry is gathered as of date of visit.


What are the data that will be gathered for the Core and Community Modules?

A. Agriculture

  1. Characteristics of Operator/Hired Manager
  2. Physical Area of the Holding
  3. Tenurial Status of the Holding
  4. Land Utilization
  5. Irrigation Facility
  6. Temporary and Permanent Crops Planted
  7. Livestock and Poultry Raised

B. Aquaculture Core Census Module

  1. Type of Aquafarm
  2. Location of Aquafarm
  3. Size of Aquafarm
  4. Species Cultured in the Aquafarm

C. Fisheries Core Census Module

  1. Characteristics of Fishing Operators
  2. Category of Fishing Operation (Marine or Inland Waters)
  3. Tonnage of Fishing Boats/ Vessels Used
  4. Kind and Number of Fishing Gears

D. Community

  1. Agriculture/Fisheries Facilities and Services in the Barangay
  2. Dominant Terrain
  3. Destructive Natural Calamity in the Past 5 Years


How will the enumeration of farms and fishing operators be done?

The gathering of agriculture and fisheries data through the core census shall be performed by census enumerators through house-to-house visits and interview of the operators about their agriculture farm, aquafarm and/or fishing operation. The community-level data about agricultural and fisheries facilities and services available in the barangay will be gathered by census supervisors through interview of key informants, such as the Punong Barangay or other barangay officials, in each of the 42,000 barangays in the country .

What is the assurance of the public that the information given to Census Enumerators/Supervisors will not be used against them in lawsuits or for other purposes?

Section 4 of Commonwealth Act No. 591 guarantees that any information obtained during the enumeration shall be held strictly confidential and that it must not be divulged to any other person except authorized employees of the National Statistics Office, who are acting in the performance of their duties.

How can you be a partner to ensure the success of the Census of Agriculture and Fisheries?

You or your organization can be a partner by enhancing the level of receptiveness and cooperation of the people towards the Census of Agriculture and Fisheries. Some activities which you can undertake are:

  • Undertake publicity and information drive among members of your organization and partner agencies through announcements of the conduct of the CAF in organization-sponsored fora, etc.;
  • Provide assistance in locating venues/facilities for the training of census supervisors and enumerators;
  • Provide assistance in transporting census personnel and materials;
  • Mobilize local officials and leaders to explain the importance of the census and the need for the cooperation of the public;
  • Encourage local businesses to put up billboards, streamers and posters;
  • Sponsor census awareness activities in the barangay to enlist the cooperation of prospective respondents of the forthcoming Census of Agriculture and Fisheries; and
  • Sponsor local census awareness events for farmers, fishermen and other persons engaged in agriculture and fisheries.


For more information:

Contact: Household Statistics Department at (02) 716-0298 or (02) 716-9368


You may also visit any NSO Regional or Provincial Office nearest you.



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Contact Information

Technical Inquiries:

Agriculture Fisheries and Census Division +632 8376 1834

Publication Inquiries:

Knowledge Management and Communications Division 
Information Technology and Dissemination Service +632 8462 6600 loc. 834