International Programs

NASS is recognized as the world leader in the field of agricultural statistics. In addition to producing high quality statistics about U.S. agriculture, NASS has been helping to establish and improve agricultural statistics systems in countries around the world since the end of World War II.

Food insecurity, shortfalls in regional food production, and lack of reliable information on the agricultural sector are major concerns in many countries. Improved agricultural data systems can provide more and better information to address these issues.

NASS specialists provide technical assistance and training on a reimbursable basis in all aspects of statistical surveys and data systems. The aim is to develop stronger statistical organizations and increase the skills of individual employees. Emphasis is on continuity and the consistent use of statistically sound procedures, so that more reliable and timely agricultural information can be provided at less cost.

The benefits of such assistance extend beyond serving the interests of the various countries. By helping other countries improve their agricultural statistics systems, USDA’s ability to assess world food and fiber production is also improved. Establishing strong working relationships with other agricultural statisticians around the world allows NASS staff to gather and develop new ideas for improving the U.S. agricultural statistics system, while exposure to other cultures and work situations enhances NASS employees’ abilities to solve problems.

NASS’s international projects have covered the globe and a wide array of statistical activities, including:

  • Review of existing and development of new sample survey and census programs;
  • Development of sampling frames, both area and list;
  • Design of more efficient survey samples;
  • Testing and implementation of new and improved survey methods;
  • Introduction of new methods for analyzing survey data;
  • Development of objective crop yield forecasting and estimating programs;
  • Consultation on the use of remote sensing technology;
  • Development of data processing systems; and
  • Delivery of short-term seminars and training programs, both in-country and in the U.S.

Over the past 10 years, NASS international projects have been instrumental in helping more than 30 developing and emerging market countries in Africa, Central and South America, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe to develop and improve their agricultural statistics programs. During the same period, NASS has hosted foreign visitors from nearly 100 countries, averaging 150 visitors per year.

For more information on international programs for improving agricultural statistics, please contact NASS’s International Programs Office at 202-720-4505 or

International Conference on Agricultural Statistics

About ICAS

ICAS focuses on fostering and leveraging best practices and research in response to the changing needs and opportunities for agricultural statistics. ICAS brings together experts from around the world to share research and operational accomplishments, and to explore the latest methodological innovations by countries and development partners.

ICAS IX will be held over three days in May 2023 in Washington, DC, and will be organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the World Bank, in coordination with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and under the aegis of the Committee on Agricultural Statistics of the ISI.

Access additional information on key events, side events, and scientific programs.

Last Modified: 05/04/2022