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Time series for Sofa'93

Instructions for use

The State of Food and Agriculture 1993 is supplemented by a computer diskette, presented in English only on an experimental basis. If, as expected, there is a favourable response, starting with the 1994 issue the publication will also include an improved version of the diskette in French and Spanish.

The diskette, which contains a comprehensive set of annual statistical information on the agricultural, forestry and fishery sector, covers 153 countries and 12 country groups. The data stretch from the year 1961 to 1992 and, in addition to the information used in this publication, include most of the statistics published by FAO as "Country Tables". The diskette provides a program called TIME SERIES, which may be used for reading, displaying and manipulating the data. This program has been developed by Karl Gudmunds and Alan Webb of the Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, and FAO has been authorized use rights for the distribution of the country tables accompanying The State of Food and Agriculture 1993.

Technical information and installation of TIME SERIES for SOFA'93

TIME SERIES is a fast and easy-to-use tool for displaying and analysing large time series data sets. Data can be displayed in the form of charts and tables. The program supports basic statistical analysis and allows time trend projections and cross-sectional comparisons of data to be made. For further analysis, data can be exported into standard formats that are readable by commonly used database and spreadsheet programs or, alternatively, it can be directly exported to an ASCII file format. The program is fully menu-driven, offers an online help facility and can thus be used even by very inexperienced users.

· To use TIME SERIES for SOFA'93, you need:

-a DOS-based minicomputer with a graphic display
-a hard disk with at least 3.8 megabytes free
· If you are using MS-Windows, you can use TIME SERIES as a DOS application.

· TIME SERIES can also be installed on most Local Area Networks.

The program and data files are distributed on your TIME SERIES for SOFA'93 diskette in a compressed form and need to be decompressed before use.

The file containing the program (TSPROG.EXE) and the file containing the data (SOFA.EXE) are both self-extracting.

· For a standard installation from floppy disk drive A to a drive C:\SOFA93 directory:

- insert your TIME SERIES for SOFA'93 diskette in drive A
- type: A:INSTALL [press ENTER]
A small batch file on the diskette creates a C:\SOFA93 directory and does the copying and decompression for you.

· Alternatively, for installation on other drives or directories:

- copy the files TSPROG.EXE and SOFA.EXE from your diskette to the drive of your choice
- type TSPROG [press ENTER] ... then SOFA [press ENTER] in order to decompress them
· After installation, to start working with the program:
- type: SOFATS [press ENTER]
If you are short of space after successful installation, you may delete the files SOFA.EXE and TSPROG.EXE from your hard disk. You will save 1.4 megabytes, keeping the total space used by TIME SERIES for SOFA'93 to 2.4 megabytes.

Data on SOFA'93 diskette

When you start SOFATS, a list of 11 data files will appear in a central window on your screen. The files include the following data:


-contains agricultural and food production indices for 149 countries from 1961 to 1993 (Source: AGROSTAT)


-contains agricultural and food production indices for 12 regional groups from 1961 to 1993 (Source: AGROSTAT)


-contains demographic information for 153 countries from 1961 to 1992 (Source: AGROSTAT)


-demographic information for 12 regional groups from 1961 to 1992 (Source: AGROSTAT)


- national account data for 133 countries covering the years 1961 to 1991; these national account data are expressed in constant 1980 US dollars (Source: UN/DESIPA)


-agricultural, fishery and forestry production data for 153 countries from 1961 to 1992 (Source: AGROSTAT)


-agricultural, fishery and forestry production data for 12 regional groups from 1961 to 1992 (Source: AGROSTAT)


-food supply data for 149 countries from 1961 to 1990 (Source: AGROSTAT)


-food supply data for 12 regional FAO groups from 1961 to 1990 (Source: AGROSTAT)


-trade data for 153 countries from 1961 to 1992 for total merchandise and agricultural trade, from 1961 to 1991 for trade in forestry products and from 1961 to 1990 for trade in fishery products; all trade data are expressed in current US dollars (Source: AGROSTAT)


- trade data for regional groups covering the same periods as TRADE.TS (Source: AGROSTAT)

All data are stored and displayed in units of thousands except for the agricultural and food production indices and the food supply data (*) which are stored in single units. For a correct display of these data, you have to change the default setting of the TIME SERIES (this is explained below). The AGROSTAT-based data have been updated as of mid-1992.

The program does not allow specific handling of missing values. Missing information within the range of country and time coverage is represented by a zero. Zeros can therefore have three different meanings: i) a value of zero; ii) a very small value not displayed within the range of magnitude; or iii) missing information. Caution: a zero in the last year of a time series may produce misleading projection results.

· Check the time series in the BROWSE menu and truncate both the data year and the trend year in the SET LIMITS function.

· Select one of the data files listed above with your cursor key and press ENTER.

Data-use caution

Users are cautioned that, when data are not available, FAO estimates are provided. Note that linear or stepwise plotting in graphs may be a sign that the data are estimated, although this is not a foolproof method to detect estimates. For a detailed explanation of data sources and reliability, see the appropriate FAO Production Yearbook or FAO Trade Yearbook.

Some useful hints for working with TIME SERIES for SOFA'93

Your work with TIME SERIES for SOFA'93 is fully guided by pull-down menus with additional short instructions at the top and bottom of your screen.

· If you need more help:

- press the F1 key, which gives you full online instructions regarding your specific problem
- press the F1 key twice for help according to a list of subjects
After selecting your file, you will normally start by selecting a country and an item from the DATA menu. Then you have a range of five options to display and analyse your data in the GRAPH menu:

· The first choice (DISPLAY) will provide you with an immediate chart display of your data (always return with the ESC key).

· The second choice (TREND LINE) allows you to enrich your data display with a regression line. You have the choice of forcing the program for a linear, parabolic or exponential regression line, or leaving it for the program to determine the "best fit". Returning to the display will now give you a chart containing the data line, the trend line and R-square information.

· The third item (LIMITS) allows you to restrict the display of the time span of your data (DATA DISPLAY) and/or the years for the TREND LINE calculation. A third item (PROJECTION YEAR) allows you to make a time trend projection up to a target year of your choice.

· With the fourth item (STYLE) on the GRAPH menu you can change the shape of your chart (line, bars or scatter).

· The fifth item (VIEWPOINT) lets you switch from a time series display (TIME TREND) of your data to a cross-sectional comparison between countries (COUNTRY PROFILE) or items (ITEM PROFILE). When selecting ITEM or COUNTRY PROFILE, you will be asked to select either a number of countries/items of your choice or select the TOP MEMBERS, which can be a number up to 50 (if available). The TOP MEMBERS will always be ranked when you display them as a chart. In addition, it is possible to remove a range of members from the top for display. (Hint: If you want to see only the last 20 countries out of 153, just remove 133 countries from the top.)

While you are displaying a graph on your screen

· You can call for help as usual by pressing the F1 key. In TIME TREND display you can scroll through different items and countries by pressing the ­ and ¯ or the PAGEUP and PAGEDOWN keys. On ITEM and COUNTRY PROFILES, there are similar functions (press F1 for the HELP window).

· You will also see that you can print your graph on a printer by pressing P on your keyboard. Before printing, you can add any text of your choice to the graph (e.g. the REGRESSION function) by pressing the INSERT key. This text can be written in a horizontal or vertical mode and in large or small letters; for help while you are inserting text, press F1.

· You can add up to five different items/countries on one chart in the TIME TREND display. By pressing the + key you will be asked whether you want to add other items or countries or other items from different countries to your chart for a cross-country and/or cross-item comparison. To remove these items/countries again, press the - key.

· If you want to see the underlying numbers of your chart, press: i) the letter A and you will see the annual data with some statistics; or ii) the letter T and you will see the regression information, including the functional type (the latter will only work if you have opted for a TREND LINE).

Viewing data in the form of tables

· Go to the TABLE menu.

· Select BROWSE and browse through your data with the PAGEUP and PAGEDOWN (countrywise) and Arrow keys (item- and year-wise). Pressing F2 will transpose your table and display the years in columns, which looks much better in most cases.

· If you need your data in any other program you can compose a table for exporting by selecting CREATE TABLE. Select the countries and items you want to export with the + key and SAVE the table in the format of your choice. Before saving, you may check the data with the VIEW function.

Options from the PROGRAM menu

· With the FILE option, you can select a different data file from your list of 11 files.

· You can write and store your own NOTES with the data file and view them whenever you work with your data. These notes are stored in a separate file with a different extension on your hard disk (no change is made or harm done to your data files).

· With the UNITS option you can change your data display from real figures to INDEX numbers. If you do so you have to determine the PIVOT YEAR, which will be the reference year with a value set to one.

· Changing the MAGNITUDE becomes necessary for the agricultural and food production indices and the food supply data (see above), because these data are not stored in units of thousands. Therefore, when you select data from the AGRFOOD.TS or AGRFOODA.TS files:

-go to the PROGRAM menu
- place the cursor on 1s and press ENTER
· For SUPPLY.TS or SUPPLYA.TS files:
-go to the PROGRAM menu
- place the cursor on 1s and press ENTER
You have to change back to 1,000s when working with other data. However, when you start your work with TIME SERIES, the setting will always be for 1,000s (default setting).

· The SCALAR option allows you to apply a factor to your current data set temporarily (valid only for this session). You can thus change the display of the population figures from thousands to millions, for example.

Warranty and conditions

All copyright and intellectual property rights are reserved. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) declines all responsibility for errors or deficiencies in the database, for maintenance, for upgrading and for any damage that may arise from use of the database. FAO also declines any responsibility for updating the data. However, users are kindly asked to report to FAO any errors or deficiencies found in this product. Note: Data and/or program files may be damaged during shipping. If you discover any damage to your diskette, please return it to:

Viale delle Terme di Caracal la 00100 Rome, Italy

You will be sent a replacement diskette as soon as possible.

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