The 21st Century represents the era of information and knowledge. Agriculture information systems around the world are changing as fast as technology.

Mayan Temple

Agricultural statistics are critical to all Nation's statistical systems. New paradigms are dramatically changing the focus of agricultural statistics. For example, the Mexico focus has changed from strictly food and agriculture to rural sustainable development. Technology advancements can also shape agricultural systems by better measuring variables that directly impact sustainable agriculture. For instance, satellite imagery is being used to more accurately assess land use variables such as planted areas.

With telecommunications and new technology, world market information can be determined instantly from anywhere in the world.

The two previous international conferences covered many important issues pertaining to the continuing evolution of agricultural statistics systems. In ICAS III, the main theme was defining and measuring sustainable agriculture indicators, with an emphasis on rural development. The conference covered economic sustainability indicators such as profits from agricultural products and environmental sustainability indicators such as use and protection of forests, water, and other natural resources.

Finally, conference topics addressed the development of social sustainability indicators such as the impacts of education, health, and cultural activities on rural households and their social welfare.