COMMITTEE ON COMMODITY PROBLEMS
Rome, Italy, 11-13 April 2005
AGRICULTURAL POLICY INDICATORS
1. FAO’s Economic and Social Department has joined with the World Bank, IFPRI and the OECD, to establish a Consortium to identify, collect, analyze and monitor policy indicators for developing countries. The Consortium aims to use its collective resources and expertise to provide policy indicators for a wide range of countries on a consistent basis. An important purpose of the Consortium is to address comparability issues that arise when different organizations carry out independent analysis using their distinct approaches and diverse methodologies.
2. FAO considers that basic agricultural policy indicators (API) are needed to understand better how agricultural and related economy-wide policies are affecting food security, poverty reduction, agricultural growth and rural development. API are fundamental inputs for understanding policy effects and for assessing how well a country’s policies are achieving poverty reduction, food security and rural development objectives. The API are necessary to produce useful applied quantitative analyses to assess policy impacts and market projections. All data and API would be accessible on FAO’s web page, as well as other Consortium members’ web pages.
3. The API provide insights into whether agriculture, hunger and poverty in particular countries are being stimulated or retarded by the set of policies employed. In addition, the proposed API modules provide the basic information required to answer a broad set of specific development questions. For example: Are agricultural policies meeting their stated objectives? Are the policy outcomes pro-poor, pro-agriculture, pro-equality? Do policies favor specific commodities or particular regions?
4. FAO’s approach to API is comprehensive, transparent and accessible for straightforward interpretation and includes four components: (1) a set of five API modules; (2) a training component for in-country data collectors and analysts for each of the five modules; (3) review and validation workshops for all data and analysis; and (4) dissemination activities, e.g. web-based public access systems linking all countries and Consortium members and other related dissemination activities. The five API modules are: commodity market module, the structural module, the macro environment module, the regulatory module and the research and technology module.