©FAO/Johan Spanner

Statistical development in Central and Eastern Europe

The availability of data and the accessibility of data relating to nutrition, food and agriculture are particularly important issues in transition countries, and concern not only population or agricultural production statistics but also data on the fishery and forestry sectors, on trade balances and on agricultural prices. Reliable and up-to-date statistics are indispensable tools for planning, policy design and strategy development. Therefore, FAO is playing an important role in developing agricultural statistical systems (such as CountrySTAT) in order to accompany these countries' transition from centrally planned to market economies.

The activities of FAO statistics in Europe are coordinated with those of EUROSTAT, OECD and ECE through the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on Agricultural Statistics (IWG. AGRI), and through the regional statistician in the Organization's Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU) in Budapest, Hungary.

Technical support is provided to countries through FAO's Field Programme. The main areas of support are:
Agricultural censuses
• Statistical data processing of household surveys, including food consumption and related expenditure data
• On-going systems of agricultural statistics and institutional strengthening agricultural statistics for food security analysis and early warning information systems
• Food and agricultural statistics at country and country-group levels as inputs for decision-making processes
• Training and capacity development

Capacity development has been based on regional activities such as National Demonstration Centres and on-the-job country training courses on food security and consumption statistics derived from household surveys already implemented by National Statistics Offices (NSOs) of countries in Central and Eastern Europe. More than 15 countries have participated in these activities in the last two years.