LAHORE - The Pakistan government has decided to carry out sixth decennial Agricultural Census 2010 across the country, including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The planning and preparatory work of this nationwide exercise has been completed by the Agricultural Census Organisation (ACO), an attached department of the Statistics Division. However, the field operation will be carried out by the Provincial Land Revenue Departments in settled areas and Field Assistants, Veterinary Assistants and teachers in unsettled areas of the country under the supervision of the ACO. This census has been planned in accordance with the programme of World Census of Agriculture (2010) laid down by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. The primary purpose of this nationwide exercise is to assess the agricultural development taken place during the last ten years. In all, the data generated through this census will be of immense importance and would be used in future as benchmark by policy makers, planners and researchers. The census will provide useful information about agricultural resources of the country and the state of their utilisation. It will quantify different facets of our agriculture, viz; land utilisation, land holding, fragmentation of holdings cropping pattern, livestock, casual and permanent labour, irrigation by different sources, number of fruit trees of bearing and non-bearing age, use of fertilizers and agricultural machinery, family members employed for agriculture work, education status of family members and secondary sources of family income, etc. The Agricultural Census 2010 will be carried out in three phases. The first phase will start from December 2009 and will be completed up till January 31st next year covering whole of the Punjab and Sindh provinces. In second phase, the hot areas of NWFP and Balochistan provinces will be enumerated, while in third phase the cold areas of the NWFP and Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir will be covered. According to a press release issued here on Saturday, prior to the start of enumeration, the district meetings under the chair of the District Coordination Officer have been arranged from the second week of November 2009 at each district headquarter of the Punjab and Sindh provinces to finalise the census arrangements within the district. All revenue officers of the district will attend the meeting. The senior officer(s) from the ACO will also participate in the meetings. Thereafter, the training of field staff of the provincial revenue departments will be done, who will act as census enumerators. The data collection phase will commence from December 14th. The Census Master Trainers from the ACO will impart such training at each district and tehsil headquarter. After training, the field revenue staff will be mobilised for actual enumeration in the selected mouzas of each district. All provincial governments have assured their full cooperation and assistance for successful completion of this national exercise.