Food balance sheet methodology

A food balance sheet presents a comprehensive picture of the pattern of a country's food supply during a specified reference period. The food balance sheet shows for each food item i.e. each primary commodity availablity for human consumption which corresponds to the sources of supply and its utilisation. The total quantity of foodstuffs produced in a country added to the total quantity imported and adjusted to any change in stocks that may have occurred since the beginning of the reference period gives the supply available during that period.

On the utilisation side a distinction is made between the quantities exported, fed to livestock + used for seed, losses during storage and transportation, and food supplies available for human consumption. The per capita supply of each such food item available for human consumption is then obtained by dividing the respective quantity by the related data on the population actually partaking in it. Data on per capita food supplies are expressed in terms of quantity and by applying appropriate food composition factors for all primary and processed products also in terms of dietary energy value, protein and fat content.

Food balance sheets - a handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to provide member countries and interested institutions with the basic methodology regarding the preparation of food balance sheets. It is also intended for use in training activities of nationals from developing countries in the construction of food balance sheets.

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