Technical Notes on the Census of Agriculture and Fisheries (CAF)



The 2002 Censuses of Agriculture and Fisheries (CAF 2002) is a large-scale government operation geared towards the collection and compilation of statistics on the agriculture and fisheries sectors of the country. The collected data will constitute the bases from which policymakers and planners will formulate plans for the country’s development.

The 2002 Census of Population (CA 2002) was the fifth of a series of decennial census on agriculture while the 2002 Census of Fisheries (CF 2002) was the fourth census of fisheries in the country.


The CAF 2002 was envisioned with the following objectives:

  • To determine the structure and characteristics of agricultural holdings, fishing and aquafarm operations;
  • To determine the number and distribution of households and enterprises engaged in agriculture and fishing and to gather information on the operation of these households and enterprises;
  • To provide the basis for sampling frame for other statistical undertakings; and
  • To provide basic data for use in national as well as sub-national development planning.


The CA 2002 was conducted from March 3 to April 5, 2003. All households from the CA sample barangays, whether in urban or in rural areas, were listed and interviewed to determine if any household member was engaged in agricultural activity anytime from January 1 to December 31, 2002. All identified agricultural operators/hired managers were enumerated, as well as all establishments engaged in agriculture in the 2002 List of Establishments (LE).

Enumeration of all fishing and aquaculture operators in CF sample barangays, identified during the listing operation in April 2003 and all fishing establishments as listed in the 2002 LE, was conducted in September 1 to 29, 2003.


The following items were included in the CA 2002

  • holding identification
  • characteristics of the operator/hired manager
  • legal status of the holder
  • characteristics of the holding such as location, physical area, main use, tenure status, used of irrigation and main irrigation used
  • crops planted whether temporary or permanent, scattered or compact planting
  • kind and number of livestock and poultry raised/tended
  • kind and number equipment, machineries, facilities and other farm tools owned and rented
  • engaging in selected agricultural activities
  • demographic characteristics of household members.

The CF 2002 gathered the following basic information on municipal and commercial fishing and aquaculture activities:

  • fishing/aquaculture operation identification
  • characteristics of fishing/aquaculture operator or hired manager and demographic characteristics of household members

Specifically, data gathered on municipal and commercial fishing were:

  • category of fishing
  • legal form of operation
  • kind and number of fishing gears, accessories and devices used in the fishing operation
  • type, number and gross tonnage of fishing boat/vessel used
  • capacity of engine
  • number of months and average number of days per month the fishing boat/vessel was used.

On the other hand, data gathered on aquaculture includes the following:

  • legal form of operation
  • location and type of water used,
  • tenure status,
  • species cultured,
  • area or volume of aquafarm
  • degree of development of fishpond
  • type and number of equipment and facilities used in the aquafarm


Similar to the 1991 CAF, the CAF 2002 was a complete enumeration of sample areas. This methodology is referred to as sample enumeration and is consistent with the terminology used by the United Nations Statistical Office. Likewise, other countries adopted this methodology when resources were inadequate to allow complete enumeration.

It can be mentioned that in the CA 2002, the provinces of Laguna, Isabela, Batanes and Bukidnon were taken as full samples. While complete enumeration was undertaken in the provinces of Leyte and Batanes during the CF 2002.


Sampling Design for CA 2002

The sampling design employed in the CA 2002 used the total farm area (TFA) from the 1991 CAF. This information was available only for the largest barangay in each municipality and fifty percent (50%) of the other barangay. For the rest of the barangays, information from the 2000 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) was used. All barangays in a municipality except in the National Capital Region (NCR) were grouped into three strata, as follows:

a)  Barangay with the largest TFA in each municipality in the 1991 CAF classified in Stratum 1;
b)  All other barangays covered in the 1991 CAF (Stratum 2); and
c)  All other barangays (Stratum 3).

In stratum 2 and 3, a twenty five percent (25%) systematic sample barangays were selected.

On the other hand, the NCR were subdivided into six (6) districts, namely:

a)  NCR I - Manila
b)  NCR II - Quezon City
c)  NCR III - San Juan, Cities of Mandaluyong, Marikina and Pasig
d)  NCR IV - Malabon, Navotas, Cities of Kalookan and Valenzuela
e)  NCR V - Pateros, Taguig and Makati City and;
f)  NCR VI - Cities of Pasay, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa and Paranaque.

The sample was done independently in each district. The above sampling procedure was followed, except that the sampling rates for Stratum 2 and Stratum 3 were 5 % and 10% respectively.


Sampling Design for CF 2002

For purposes of CF 2002, a barangay was considered a fishing barangay if at least one household was engaged in fishing. All barangays were classified in only one stratum, which could be in any of the following:

a) Stratum 1 - All fishing barangays as identified from the 2001 Municipal and Commercial Fishing Survey (MCFS) conducted by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS);

b)  Stratum 2 - For those barangays not identified in Stratum, a barangay was checked if it was a fishing barangay as identified both from the 1999 Barangay Screening Survey (BSS) of BAS and from the 2000 CPH;

c)  Stratum 3 - Among those not considered in Strata 1 and 2 above, a barangay was checked if it was a fishing barangay as identified from the 1999 Barangay Screening Survey (BSS) of BAS;

d)  Stratum 4 - Among those not considered in Strata 1 to 3 above, a barangay was checked if it was a fishing barangay as identified from 2000 CPH;

e)  Stratum 5 - This covers all remaining barangays that were not identified as fishing barangays in Strata 1 to 4.

All barangays identified in Strata 1 and 2 were taken with certainty and 50% of the fishing barangays from Strata 3 and 4. Only 5% of the remaining barangays were selected from Stratum 5. The ordering variable for Strata 3 and 4 was the number of households engaged in fishing while Stratum 5 was the number of households.



A social unit consisting of a person living alone or group of persons who sleep under the same roof and usually have common arrangement for the preparation and consumption of food.

Agricultural Operator

A person who takes the technical and administrative responsibility of managing a holding. He is responsible for making day-to-day decisions in operating the holding, including the management and supervision of hired labor. The operator may work on the land alone or with members of his household, or may not work on the land but may employ others to work on the land. He may or may not be the owner of the land. For purposes of CA 2002, persons operating as individual on own account although they hire persons to supervise the day-to-day operation of their holding are considered agricultural operators.

Operator in Catching and/or Gathering of Aquatic Products

A person who takes the technical and administrative responsibility of managing the day-to-day fishing operations. He is responsible for making major decisions including the management and supervision of hired labor. The operator may do the catching or gathering of aquatic products alone or with members of his household. He may not do the catching or gathering of aquatic products but may employ others to do the job for him. He may or may not be the owner of the fishing boat and/or fishing gear.

Operator in the Farming (Culture) of Aquatic Products

A person who takes the technical and administrative responsibility of managing the day-to-day aquafarm operations. He is responsible for making major decisions including the management and supervision of hired labor. The operator may do the farming (culture) of aquatic products alone or with members of his household. He may not do the farming (culture) of aquatic products but may employ others to do the job for him. He may or may not be the owner of the aquafarm and/or aquafarm equipment and facilities.


Any piece or pieces of land used wholly or partly for any agricultural activity (i.e. growing of crops, tending of livestock and poultry, etc.) and operated as one technical unit by one person alone or with others regardless of title, legal form, size, and location. A holding operated as one technical unit means that the pieces of land are operated under one management and that the financial resources needed for the operation of the holding come from the said management.


A civil or juridical person who exercises management control over the agricultural operation of a holding and takes major decisions regarding resource use. The holder has technical and economic responsibility for the holding and may undertake all responsibilities directly, i.e., he operates the holding, or delegates responsibilities related to the day-to-day work management to a hired manager.


One contiguous piece of land under one form of tenure without regard to land use. Both the contiguity and one form of tenure conditions should be met for a piece of land to be classified as one parcel. Contiguous means that the piece of land is not separated by natural or man-made boundaries like road, river, canal, etc., that are not part of the holding.


The right under which a holding/parcel is held or operated. A holding may be operated under a single form of tenure or under more than one form, in which case each form of tenure should be reported separately. A parcel may be owned, rented, leased or held under other forms like those held as mortgage, on squatter basis or rent-free.

a.  Fully Owned - refers to the land operated with a title of ownership in the name of the holder and consequently, the right to determine the nature and extent of the use of the land. It includes lands whose absolute ownership is vested in the holder through sale, inheritance, etc. A parcel, which is a part of the holding, is also considered fully owned if the holder has an absolute deed to sale of the land. Likewise, lands of the tillers with Emancipation Patent are fully owned.

Emancipation Patent is the title of the land issued to a tenant upon paying completely his/her amortization of the land he/she tilled and upon compliance with all other government requirements. It represents the full emancipation of the tiller from the bondage of tenancy, hence, vested the absolute ownership of such land.

b.  Tenanted - refers to the rented lands wherein the rental arrangement is in the form of share of produce or harvest.

c.  Leased/Rented - refers to an area cultivated by a lessee, which belongs to or is legally possessed by another, the lessor. The rental payment is in the form of a fixed amount of either money, produce, or both.

d.  Rent Free - refers to an area operated without title of ownership and without paying rent but with the consent or permission of the landowner.

e.  Held Under Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) or Certificate of Land Ownership (CLOA) - includes only those parcels that are still being paid by the holder under the government land reform program of Operation Land Transfer (OLT). OLT is a systematic transfer of ownership of tenanted rice and corn lands from the landowners to the tenant-tillers while CLOA is a title issued to farmers for their farmlot as covered by Republic Act 6657, otherwise known as Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL). It must be noted that this category covers only those that are currently paying their amortization.

f.  Ownerlike Possession Other Than CLT or CLOA - refers to the area of the land under conditions that enable a person to operate it as if he/she is the owner although he/she does not possess title of ownership. Area held under ownerlike possession includes those that are held under heirship and other forms in ownerlike possession.

A land is said to be held under heirship if it is inherited and the title of ownership has not been transferred to the heirs. Included are inherited lands without title of ownership.

Other forms of ownerlike possession include an area without legal title of ownership which is operated uncontestedly and uninterruptedly by the holder for a period of 30 years or more, even without the permission of the owner, and land being purchased on installment basis or under long-term contract.

g.  Other Forms of Tenure - includes land held as mortgage and all other forms not categorized above including squatter of less than 30 years.

Physical area

The actual measurement of the land in hectares.

Land Utilization

It is the distribution of the physical area of land in the holding according to its main use during the reference period. Land utilization may be classified as follows:

a.  Homelot - land used mainly for residential purposes of the agricultural operator, regardless of its location.

b.  Land Under Temporary Crops - land planted to crops that are grown seasonally and whose growing cycle is less than one year and which must be sown or planted again for production after each harvest. Land which is planted with herbaceous forage crops mainly for sale is classified as under temporary crops even if part of the produce is used as feeds for livestock. Land planted with kangkong, alogbati, and similar plants whose growing cycle may be less than, equal to, or more than a year, and need not be replaced after each harvest shall be considered as under temporary crops. Land planted to crops which are grown for more than a year but have to be replaced after harvesting like cassava is also classified as land under temporary crops.

c.  Land Under Permanent Crops - land planted to crops that occupy the land for a long period of time and do not need to be replaced after each harvest like fruit trees.

d.  Temporarily Fallow - land which is purposely allowed to stay idle for a period of at least one year or at most 5 years in order to recover its fertility, after which period it is again planted to temporary crops.

e.  Under Temporary Meadows and Pastures - land purposely used for temporary grazing of animals for a period of five years or less.

f.  Under Permanent Meadow and Pastures - land used permanently or intended to be used permanently for more than 5 years for the purpose of growing herbaceous forage crops, either seeded or cared for or existing naturally. If the growing of the forage crops is considered the most important use of the area, the land should be considered as permanent pastures even if fruit trees and/or nut trees are grown on it. However, if the operator does not raise livestock but raises forage crops for sale, and sells most of the forage crops, the area is classified as under temporary crops.

g.  Land Covered with Wood and Forest - part of the holding that is wood or forestland natural or planted. Forest concessions are not included under this category.

h.  Other Form of Land Use Classification - include lands occupied by pigpen, poultry house, fishpond, wasteland and undeveloped land potentially productive for agriculture and other lands not included in the preceding land use classification. Wasteland comprises barren rocky land, sloping areas, etc., which are not used for any productive purposes.


This is the practice of artificially providing land with water to increase agricultural productivity. Main Irrigation System refers to the system from where the irrigated water was drawn most of the time. Such system includes the following:

a.  National - the government-owned irrigation system built or constructed to provide continuous supply of water for agricultural purposes to farmers in exchange for a fee.

b.  Communal - an irrigation system owned by the community, association, farmers’ cooperative, etc.

c.  Individual - irrigation means provided personally by the operator for his holding’s irrigation needs.

d.  Other Irrigation System - includes all irrigation systems not categorized in the above-mentioned systems.

Permanent Crops of Productive Age

Crops that are already capable of bearing fruits. The number of trees/vines/hills refers to the actual count of productive and non-productive trees/vines/hills found standing in a farm, whether these trees/vines/hills are categorized as scattered planting or compact planting.

Compact Planting

An agricultural practice wherein plants, trees or shrubs are planted in a regular or systematic manner. Plants, trees or shrubs forming an irregular pattern but are dense enough to permit the collection of information regarding the area are also considered compact planting.


Domesticated animals with four legs with hoofs.


Domesticated fowl collectively, especially valued for their meat and eggs.

Equipment, Machineries, Facilities and Other Farm Tools

Farm equipment and facilities used for agricultural activities. This includes large and small machineries and small farm implements and facilities that are semi-durable or have a lifetime of at least one year. For purposes of CA 2002, only those equipment, machineries and facilities owned and rented are included.

Municipal Fishing

Fishing operation carried out without the use of boat or with the use of a raft or a boat of three (3) gross tons or less.

Commercial Fishing

Covers fishing operation using boat(s) of more than three (3) gross tons.

Gross Tonnage of the Fishing Boat/Vessel

The vessel's closed-in spaces expressed in volume terms on the basis of one hundred cubic feet, which is equal to one (1) gross tons. It includes permanently enclosed spaces above the tonnage deck, also known as the underdeck tonnage.

Fishing Gears

Any apparatus, gadget, implement and other paraphernalia used in catching and gathering of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic products.


The culturing of aquatic products such as fish, oysters, seaweeds, and other aquatic resources in sea, lakes and rivers.


Body of water (artificial or natural) where fish and other aquatic products are cultured, raised or cultivated under controlled conditions


Enclosure constructed along lakes and bayshores and is usually prepared by staking bamboo poles in selected sites. The shape varies from square to round. The poles are enclosed with bamboo screens (banatan) or synthetic nettings (e.g. nylon, kuralon, etc.) where fingerlings are stocked and reared to marketable size under natural (not controlled) conditions.

Fish Cage

Stationary or floating fish enclosure made of synthetic net wire bamboo screen or other materials set in the form of inverted mosquito net with or without cover with all sides either tied to poles staked to the water bottom or with anchored floats for aquaculture purposes. The difference between a fish cage and a fishpen is that the former is set in the form of an inverted mosquito net with its bottom suspended at the lake bottom unlike the latter which may take any form and the enclosure covers the entire water depth from the water surface down to the bottom.

Fish Tank

Land-based type of aquafarm which is made of wood, glass or cement usually in rectangular or cylindrical shape designed to grow and culture fish for breeding/seed fish production.

Hatchery (Pangitlugan)

Aquafarm where brood stock eggs are hatched and reared into fry in body of water (artificial or natural) contained in tanks or ponds under controlled condition in fresh and saltwater environment.

Oyster and Mussel Farms

Other types of aquaculture which are constructed in shallow tidal flats or in shallow plain portion of bays and riverbeds.

Marine Water

Refers to seawater environment with salinity ranging from 30 to 40 parts per thousand (ppt) consisting of ocean, bay, gulf and channels.


Mixed seawater and fresh water environment with salinity of less than 30 ppt that varies with the tide.

Data Limitations of CAF 2002

Agricultural lands of non-farm households, that is, households engaged in raising of crops, livestock and poultry but whose agricultural operations did not satisfy the definition of a farm are excluded.

It should also be noted that the results of the 1960, 1971, 1980, 1991, and 2002 censuses may not be entirely comparable due to differences in the definition of farm, reference period, and sampling design. Furthermore, like any other data gathering activities, the results are also subject to sampling and non-sampling errors.

The reference period of the 2002 Census of Agriculture (CA 2002) was from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2002. However, the data on livestock and poultry for CA 2002 were recorded as of the date of visit of the enumerators, i.e., anytime from March 3 to April 5, 2003, while the 1991 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries (1991 CAF) data for livestock and poultry were recorded as of August 31, 1991. Moreover, the reference period applied for the temporary crops during CA 2002 was from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2002 while as of December 31, 2002 for the permanent crops. During the 1991 CAF, the reference period used for recording data on temporary and permanent crops was the past 12 months.

In 1991, pineapple was treated as temporary crop. Hence, the data for this crop was in terms of area planted and not in the number of hills. Following the Food and Agriculture (FAO) classification of pineapple as permanent crop, data for this crop for CA 2002 was in terms of number of hills.

The data based on the 2002 Census of Fisheries (CF 2002) excludes aquafarm operation with an area of less than 100 square meters.


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Contact Information

Technical Inquiries:

Agriculture Fisheries and Census Division +632 8376 1834

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