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FAO regularly undertakes projections of production, demand and trade for all major agricultural commodities and for practically all countries in the world, as a basis for medium-term commodity policy analysis and for assessing future food security problems.

These projections are important input for FAO’s commodity outlook work in general, for global perspective studies such as World Agriculture: Towards 2015/2030 and as background for policy consultations on individual commodities. Outside FAO, the projections are used by national planning agencies, international research institutions, project missions and other organizations and enterprises requiring a world frame of reference for national agricultural commodity policy and investment strategies. The unique feature of FAO projections is to provide details of production, consumption and trade for individual commodities and countries that are generally not available elsewhere.

This report includes a basic set of commodity projections representing a "central" or "baseline" scenario. The central scenario is based on assumptions regarding the economic conditions and demographic trends expected to prevail during the period to 2010, a continuation of past trends in the speed of development in technology, no change in agricultural policies with respect to those presently known and normal weather conditions. Alternative scenarios of low and high production of selected basic foodstuffs in OECD countries and low-income food-deficit countries, respectively, are also investigated.

It should be noted that the report presents projections, not forecasts. The projections indicate what could happen at the end of the current decade under a specific set of macroeconomic, demographic and individual commodity assumptions and circumstances, all of which are subject to uncertainty.

Part I presents an overview of the projections results and of the main issues and areas of international policy concern arising from the assessment of the global agricultural commodity outlook to 2010, particularly in the area of trade, food security and nutritional problems of developing countries, especially the low-income food-deficit countries.

Part II summarizes the projections and discusses the main policy issues. Projections are presented for basic food and feed crops, livestock products, tropical beverages, selected fruit and agricultural raw materials by country and region.

Annex 1 contains a summary of the methodology approach used and of the main demographic and macro-economic assumptions. Annex 2 contains a description of the FAO World Food Model and of its specifications. Annex 3 includes a number of bibliographical references.

The present document is the first of a new series, entitled "FAO Commodities and Trade Technical Papers", that will include a variety of studies with a technical and analytical focus, prepared by the FAO Commodities and Trade Division.

Alexander Sarris
FAO Commodities and Trade Division

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