(Item 3 of the Agenda)
41. Mr Baker introduced the topic Using supply utilization accounts and food balance sheets as tools for improvement of data quality by explaining that the Basic Food and Agriculture Statistics Service (ESSB) of the FAO Statistics Division was responsible for the calculation of Food Balance Sheets in FAO. He said that the concept originated during World War I and that FAO had been requested to assist countries in their preparation in 1948. In 1957 the methodology was modified to use averages for three years. The main feature of the Food Balance Sheets was the balancing of food supply with utilization.
42. He pointed out some of the conceptual issues that have been addressed in the calculation of the food balance sheets. These issues included 1) Incompleteness and inaccuracy of basic data; 2) lack of production statistics for all commodities needed and mostly confined to important food crops; 3) information on commercial stocks may be available from official or marketing authorities, factories, wholesalers and retailers, but inventories of catering establishments, institutions and households may not be available; 4) waste during storage, transportation may not be available and other waste information - on quantities intentionally discarded for the purpose of price control or disease control - may be hidden; 5) import and export data may be accurate in the majority of countries, but in others there may be significant amounts of trade across national boundaries that go unrecorded; and 6) basic data on the feed, seed and industrial/manufacture use of crop and livestock products were usually obtained from surveys that were not conducted regularly.
43. He noted that in the construction of the food balance sheets, both official and unofficial data have been used by FAO with missing data estimated on the basis of surveys and other information as well as technical expertise available in FAO.
44. The Development of food balance sheets in Fiji was described by Ms Penina VATUCAWAQA (Fiji). She mentioned that the first Food Balance Sheet (FBS) for Fiji was developed in 1997 for the year 1992. Now, FBS reports were published annually in Fiji; the latest report published was for the year 2001.
45. She noted that most of the statistics used in the compilation were from official government publications and reports of the Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Fisheries and Food Industries and that these data were compiled using the standard FAO FBS worksheet with most of the foods included commonly consumed and widely available in Fiji. The FAO international food composition table was used for this analysis.
46. She indicated that the results of this work had shown some interesting trends over the years. In 2001, a total of 2 928 kcals were available per capita per day. This showed that Fiji had 700 kcals in excess of the FAO nutrient requirement of 2 228 kcals. The trend observed for total nutrients available showed that there has been an increase in energy intake, less energy provided by carbohydrates and more energy from fat. This could explain the increase in non-communicable disease problems, especially overweight and obesity.
47. The regular compilation of FBS had also shown that there was a change in consumption patterns in Fiji. More cereals were now available for consumption compared to root crops, which is a local staple in the country. In 2001, cereals continued to be the major contributor of food energy in the diet, followed by oil and fats at 15 percent, sugar and protein at 13 percent, root crops at 7 percent while other food groups contributed less than 7 percent.
48. The tendency to rely on imported food supplies to supplement domestic supplies had been evident over the years with 50 percent of total calories imported. In 2001, 54 percent of total calories were imported. Generally, while cyclones, droughts and other changes in the weather pattern have had a definite impact on the food situation in the country, increasing volumes of food imports appear to be a continuing trend.
49. She pointed out that preparation of this FBS was not an easy task as it involved an arduous process of data collection. A major problem was the non-availability of subsistence production data. The exclusion of this data meant an important part of the food supply was not accounted for. The second problem was the non-availability of data on domestic utilization, especially on seed, animal feed, manufacturing and extraction rates. The other problem was the lack of consistency in the method of data collection. Data collected by other agencies were collected for their own purpose and not for FBS requirements.
50. Ms Vatucawaqa concluded that the result of this FBS had given Fiji a benchmark in assessing the food situation in the country. However, it was important for data providers to provide accurate data since those data were used for work such as this that could have an impact in the formulation of food and nutrition policies for the country.
51. Mr Biplab NANDI, FAO Senior Food and Nutrition Officer, introduced the paper: Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS). He gave an account of the subject highlighting its origin, goal and objectives in the context of achieving the goals of the World Food Summit (WFS) and WFS:fyl. He informed the workshop that FIVIMS is an Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) initiative having its members from UN agencies, World Bank, bilateral aid agencies, NGOs etc. It worked closely with the partners of National FIVIMS in Asia and the Pacific. The workshop noted that FIVIMS was based on existing national and subregional information systems related to food security and furthermore, it was country driven, user focused and designed in response to the needs of national decision-makers in addressing the issues of food insecurity. The workshop appreciated the efforts of FAO and RAP in particular in undertaking FIVIMS activities in countries of the region like Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam, besides Fiji and Samoa.
52. The workshop urged FAO to strengthen its inputs in Pacific island countries so as to ensure achieving the goals of the World Food Summit besides the Millennium Development Goals.
53. The Key Indicator Mapping System (KIMS) was introduced by Mr Baker through a brief demonstration. It was mentioned that KIMS was a user-friendly mapping system that displays and disseminates maps, charts, spreadsheets, metadata and links to food insecurity and vulnerability indicators and related data. The system was 100 percent Java based and portable across Windows, Linux and other UNIX platforms. It had been specifically tailored for Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information Mapping System (FIVIMS) requirements and may be modified as those requirements changed or expanded.
54. The workshop noted that KIMS could be used to show who were underfed, undernourished or at-risk of becoming so, where they were located and why they were food insecure and nutritionally vulnerable. The maps could combine information from different sectors to provide an immediate comprehensive picture of the geographical distribution of vulnerable groups at the subnational level. By helping visualise where major nutritional problems were, the maps also highlighted gaps in information, alerting policy makers that additional data collection was necessary. Moreover, once the food insecure groups had been located geographically, a wide variety of other data, relevant to understanding and monitoring their situations could be presented in the form of maps.
55. It was pointed out that while KIMS was not a Geographic Information System (GIS), but relied on GIS systems providing mapping layers and data providers for data content. The software allowed for the importing and exporting of major GIS map formats (BNA, ARC/INFO, Shapefile and MapInfo). KIMS was specifically designed to be a tool that combined GIS maps with related datasets and displays and disseminated the information in an easy and straight-forward manner in stand-alone mode and over the Internet. KIMS had been customised as a tool for national and international FIVIMS partners to help in collecting, presenting and mapping the key indicators of food insecurity and vulnerability.
56. KIMS included global, continental, regional, national and subnational maps at different levels of aggregation; sample datasets (from FAO, WB, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO and others); basic map layers of geographic information (cities, railroads, roads, rivers, crop zones, etc.); and spreadsheets and line, bar and pie charts.
57. The main functions of KIMS were importing maps and associated datasets; displaying and mapping key FIVIMS indicators; creating databases which allowed the monitoring of the different indicators in time, cross-county comparisons and predictions; and storage, presentation and dissemination of data and maps.
58. Mr Nandi presented the topic entitled Vulnerability in household food and nutrition security in the context of strengthening food and agricultural statistics in the Pacific. In simple terms he explained the relationship between food insecurity and vulnerability and the crucial role of FIVIMS as a tool to address the issues of food insecurity at the household level. He emphasized the need to take urgent action by the countries using several national level database systems which take into consideration various dimensions of food insecurity like socio-economic, political, food economy, care practices, health and sanitation.
59. The workshop noted that access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food is a strong determinant in understanding the possible causes of low food consumption and poor nutritional status at the household level. The workshop recognized that FIVIMS could be used in an effective manner to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by using various indicators therein, with a view to ultimately addressing the goal of WFS. The workshop recognized that problems of vulnerability in food and nutrition impinge on multidisciplinary issues, requiring data from various sectors, but identifying nutrition as an important component. Therefore nutritional status indicators and assessment that entailed food intake surveys, dietary assessment, anthropometrics measurements and related parameters should form an important part of the tools in vulnerability assessment for the community.
60. The workshop stressed the need to use relevant indicators outlined in FIVIMS with a view to alleviating the problems of undernutrition and food insecurity. It also recommended FAO to consider organizing a sensitization workshop in SAPA so as to establish/strengthen the linkages between FAO and country level stakeholders. This would facilitate the efforts relating to FIVIMS and its application in reducing undernutrition at the household level.
61. Mr Lafaele ENOKA (Samoa) described the Application of FIVIMS in the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation programmes. He pointed out that the application of FIVIMS as a planning tool had enormous potential for Samoa in designing realistic and relevant programmes that ensured the timely achievement of its international commitments to WFS and MDGs. Furthermore, the tracking and monitoring capability of FIVIMS would greatly assist the development of national policies and programmes, coupled with a proactive approach to tackle food insecurity and vulnerability issues.
62. He indicated that the setting up of the National FIVIMS also had its challenges - and like most challenges in life they could all be resolved given time and enough support from donors and all stakeholders.
63. Two case studies presented at an Ad hoc Expert Group Meeting on Poverty Mapping and Monitoring Using Information Technology at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok were used to illustrate the use of poverty mapping as a tool in poverty reduction strategies.
64. In the first case, the Secretary-General of the Central Bureau of Statistics, Nepal had discussed the preparation of district level poverty maps based on the Nepal Living Standards Survey and identified relevant indicators of poverty that had been calculated and derived from these data.
65. He had mentioned that because of the strong demand for poverty indicators at the district level, the Government had made a strong commitment to implement decentralization through establishment of an effective and result oriented district poverty monitoring and analysis system with district level monitoring of the poverty reduction program. One of the justifications for these steps was that the National Planning Commission and other central units needed comparable cross-district data for their planning purposes.
66. The workshop noted that the Living Standards Survey was one of the main sources of poverty indicators at national and regional levels and that, on the basis of the survey results, the poverty line for Nepal had been derived. Based on this poverty line and "real per capita consumption measures, three poverty measures, namely, headcount index, poverty gap and squared poverty gap, were calculated for the country.
67. Furthermore, it was learned that the government undertook subsequent surveys to measure trends over time and to assess the impact of growth; to look into vulnerability and empowerment with reference to the Millennium Development Goals; and to monitor Poverty Reduction Strategies.
68. It was pointed out that the presentation of results took place in three steps - data analysis, model building, and mapping. The common variables" were identified from among the census and survey variables and models were developed to correlate the household consumption/income with other common variables identified earlier from the census results. The poverty data could be "projected onto geographic maps" using GIS mapping techniques by merging the information on the geographic coordinates of districts with poverty estimates produced by the poverty mapping exercise. Finally district-wise disaggregation was used to identify spatial characteristics of poverty.
69. In the second example, the Deputy Director-General, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, had described the use of poverty mapping and monitoring as a tool to identify poverty clusters and help to reduce poverty by necessary resource allocation.
70. He had noted that since macro-economic growth could not help in reducing poverty and income inequality, the planners and policy-makers were targeting the poor for poverty alleviation programme implementation. He said that poverty mapping played a vital role because it gave visual presentation of intensity of poverty incidence by geographic area. These pictures helped the planners and policy-makers to easily detect the most poverty affected areas and to allocate more resources to alleviate poverty.
71. He pointed out that although the Population Census provided socio-economic data/indicators up to the subdistrict level or down to the lowest identifiable administrative area level, poverty indicators derived from the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) were at six administrative division levels. He indicated that the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics was working with the World Food Programme (WFP) to combine these indicators and to produce subdistrict level poverty indicators.