The Census of Agriculture & Fisheries (AGC 2011) is a national government operation geared towards the collection and compilation of statistics in the agriculture sector of the country. The collected data will constitute the bases from which policymakers and planners will formulate plans for the country's development.
The first Census of Agriculture (CoA) in the Cook Islands was conducted in 1988 and the second in 2000. Both censuses were supported technically by FAO. The Cook Islands also has a long history of population census taking at 5-yearly intervals in years ending in 1 and 6. Traditionally the Census of Population and Dwellings (CoPD) has included questions on agricultural activity at the household level, types of crops grown, livestock numbers, farm machinery and involvement in fishing and pearl farming activities. Section 3 of this report looks at data collected in the CoPD 2011 related to agricultural, fishing and pearl farming activities
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Version 01: This is the final clean, labelled and anonymized version of the Master file.
Unit of Analysis
The census covered all households, agricultural operators, agricultural establishments, fishing operators and pearl farmers.
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
Ministry of Agriculture
Cook Islands Government
Ministry of Agriculture
Manpower, financial support, logistics
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Financial support, Technical assistance
National Statistics Office
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
National Statistics Office (NSO)
National Statistics Office (NSO)
Project technical officer
Ministry of Agriculture (MOA)
Formatting of report
Dates of Data Collection (YYYY/MM/DD)
Mode of data collection
The approach adopted to the data collection was to have two separate teams of supervisors and enumerators, one for the census of population and dwelling and another for the census of agriculture (CoA). The ministry of agriculture was responsible for the census of agriculture team while the Cook Islands Statistics Office (CISO) was responsible for the census of population and dwelling team.
The ministry of agriculture was responsible for the census of agriculture team with staff of the ministry fo agriculture acting as supervisors and coordinators.
The role of the supervisor was to coordinate the field data collection activities, including management of the field teams, supplies and equipment, maps and listings, coordinate with local authorities concerning the survey. Additionally, the field supervisor assigned the work to the interviewers, spot checked work, maintained field control documents, and sent completed questionnaires and progress reports to the central office.
The field editor was responsible for reviewing each questionnaire at the end of the day, checking for missed questions, skip errors, fields incorrectly completed, and checking for inconsistencies in the data. The field editor also observed interviews and conducted review sessions with interviewers.
Responsibilities of the supervisors, enumerators and field editors are described in the Instructions for Supervisors and Field Editors, together with the different field controls that were in place to control the quality of the fieldwork.
Type of Research Instrument
The census of population and dwellings had 4 categories of agricultural activity, namely: subsistence only, commercial only, subsistence and commercial and no agriculture. For those engaged in agricultural activity a further breakdown was collected, namely: vegetables, fruit, flowers and other. The census of agriculture also had 4 categories but for crop growing only, namely, non-agricultural, minor agricultural, subsistence and commercial. The differences in these classifications and the types of agriculture included make comparisons difficult, however, it is useful to evaluate the two sets of data and draw conclusions as to the extent of agricultural activity in the cook islands from these two sources.
The questionnaires used for the census of agriculture 2000 and the census of population and dwellings 2006, related to agriculture, were reviewed and efforts made to avoid duplication. In particular, the question on the numbers of livestock kept by the household was dropped from the census of population and dwellings as this data was being collected in the census of agriculture. Likewise, information on machinery and equipment was dropped from the census of agriculture as this was being collected in the census of population and dwelling. Questions on the extent of involvement in agricultural activity at the household level were maintained in both censuses as was the extent of involvement in fishing and pearl farming. This provided a useful coverage check for the census of agriculture, in particular, although it was noted that there were definitional differences between the two censuses especially related to flower cultivation which was considered an agricultural activity in the census of population and dwellings but not in the census of agriculture. At the individual level, data on labour inputs was recorded in the census of agriculture by age and sex but other data at the individual level has then to be obtained through linkages to the census of population and dwellings through the person and household number.
The household questionnaire was administered in each household, which collected various information on levels of agricultural activity, holdings detail (including name of operator, total area, number of separate parcels, location), crops currently growing and/or harvested (including crops currently growing, total area, number of plants,crops planted and/or harvested, total area, number of plants), proportion of income from agriculture, loans for agriculture purposes, fertilizers, agricultural chemicals, improved varieties, other selected activities during the last 12 months (including bee keeping, hydroponic, floriculture, handicrafts), traditional methods on food storage and planting, travelling with locally grown food, water usage
In addition to a household questionnaire, questions were administered in each household for holding which collected various information on holding iidentification, parcel details during the lasts 12 months (including location, area, land tenure, land use, months used), scattered plants/trees (including number of plants), labour input for persons 15 years and over working during the last month (including sex, age, status, type, average hours worked per week, wages per month, benefits and other paid job)
In addition to a holding questionnaire, questions were administered for parcels which collected various information (during the last 12 months) on plot details (including proportion to parcel area, crops grown, method of planting, number of plants and proportion for sale), crops planted and harvested (including area harvested, number of plants and proportion for sale)
In addition to a household questionnaire, questions were administered in each household for livestock which collected various information on type and number of livestock, type of operation, nature of disposal during the last 12 months (including kind of livestock, number disposed (including home use, feast/gifts, sold, slaughtered, live)
In addition to a household questionnaire, questions were administered in each household for fishing which collected various information on household members engaged, main purpose of fishing activity, household members (including average hours spent per week), details of fishing activities (including forms of fishing, number of people fishing, location, average number of fishing trips, average hours per fishing trip), boat details (including type of boat, length, engine), proportion of fish caught/collected and sold, proportion consumed
In addition to a household questionnaire, questions were administered in each household for pearl farming which collected various information (during the last 12 months) on farming details (including farm lines, spat collector lines, spat details, number of farm shells, labour input (including person number, sex, age, status, type, average hours worked per week, wages per month, benefits received, other paid job) , boat operation (including times used per week), type of equipment and facility, number of times per week, number owned, hired, borrowed), shelling details, proportion of income, loan details
The questionnnaires, that were developed in English, contain was divided into 5 forms:
-Household Form: Levels of agricultural activity, List of agricultural holdings, Crops, Income from agricultural activities, Loans, Fertilizers, Other relevant questions.
-Holding Form: Parcel details, Scattered plants/trees, Labour inputs.
-Parcel Form: Number of sepearate plots, Plot details, Crops.
-Livestock Form: Livestock details, Type of operation, Nature of disposal.
-Fishing & Pearl Farming Form: Fisheries activities details, Pearl farm information, Labour inputs, Boats and other equipment used, Other relevant information.
Ministry of Agriculture
Cook Islands Government
The length and complexity of the census of agriculture forms made the exercise much more time consuming and virtually all records had to be edited. The data capture and data cleaning exercise for the census of agriculture took the best part of 12 months, including the adjustments following the re-enumeration of Aitutaki. Tabulation also proved to be challenging because of the need for considerable internal computation of areas and numbers of plants. The final database was then split up into a number of smaller databases designed for each set of tables. The tabulation was done using Microsoft EXCEL and ACCESS
In interpreting the results of the census of agriculture, account needs to be taken of the fact that households classified as having no agricultural or fishing activities in the census of population and dwellings were excluded from the census of agriculture, especially on Rarotonga. Other definitional differences between the two censuses should also be noted. The census of population and dwellings defined agricultural activity as crops, livestock and floriculture whereas the ensus of agriculture definition was primarily crops. Livestock and poultry raising was treated separately in the census of agriculture and flower growing was only included in the census of agriculture if it was a commercial activity or was carried out in conjunction with food crop activities.
The forms were checked, edited and coded and prepared for 'scanning'. Scanning technology for data capture was used in the cook islands statistics office for the first time for the census of agriculture 2011. The data processing exercise for the census of agriculture was completed after the data processing exercise for the census of population and dwellings.
In interpreting the results of the Census of Agriculture (CoA), account needs to be taken of the fact that households classified as having no agricultural or fishing activities in the Census of Population Dwellings were excluded from the CoA, especially in Rarotonga.
"Ministry of Agriculture of the Cook Islands, Agriculture Census 2011 (AGC 2011), Version 01 of the licensed dataset (January 2020), provided by the Microdata Library. https://microdata.pacificdata.org/index.php/home"
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
Version 01 (October 2019): This is the first attempt at documenting the 2011 Agriculture Census (AGC). Done by the Ministry of Agriculture with the assistance of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Noumea, New Caledonia.
Version 02 (January 2020): This is the review of the existing documentation of the 2011 Agriculture Census of Cook Islands. Done by the Statistics for Development Division in Noumea, New Caledonia.