Explanatory note

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The following symbols are used in the tables:

- = none or negligible
... = not available

1991/92 = a crop, marketing or fiscal year running from one calendar year to the next
1990-92 =average for three calendar years

Figures in statistical tables may not add up because of rounding. Annual changes and rates of change have been calculated from unrounded figures. Unless otherwise indicated, the metric system is used.

The dollar sign ($) refers to US dollars. "Billion' is equal to 1000 million.

Production index numbers
FAO index numbers have 1972-81 as the base period. The production data refer to primary commodities (e.g. sugar cane and sugar beet instead of sugar) and national average producer prices are used as weights. The indices for food products exclude tobacco, coffee, tea, inedible oilseeds, animal and vegetable fibres and rubber. They are based on production data presented on a calendar-year basis.

Trade index numbers
The indices of trade in agricultural products also are based on 1979-81. They include all the commodities and countries shown in the FAO Trade Yearbook. Indices of total food products include those edible products generally classified as "food".

All indices represent changes in current values of exports (f.o.b.) and imports (c.i.f.), all expressed in US dollars. When countries report imports valued at f.o.b. (free on board), these are adjusted to approximate c.i.f. (cost, insurance, freight) values. This method of estimation shows a discrepancy whenever the trend of insurance and freight diverges from that of the commodity unit values.

Volumes and unit value indices represent the changes in the price-weighted sum of quantities and of the quantity-weighted unit values of products traded between countries. The weights are, respectively, the price and quantity averages of 1979-81, which is the base reference period used for all the index number series currently computed by FAO. The Laspeyres formula is used in the construction of the index numbers.

Definitions of "narrow" and "broad"
The OECD definitions of agriculture are generally used in reporting on external assistance to agriculture. The narrow definition of agriculture, now referred to as "directly to the sector" includes the following items:

The broad definition includes, in addition to the above items, activities that are defined as "indirectly to the sector". These activities are:

Regional coverage
Developing countries include sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Near East and North Africa 3 and Asia and the Pacific 4 Developed countries include: the industrial countries and economies in transition.


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