Food and Agriculture Statistics

Crop, livestock and food statistics

FAO’s work on crops, livestock and food statistics (CLFS) focuses on providing essential global food and agricultural data that covers the three domains of crops and livestock: production (primary and processed), global agricultural trade and food balance sheets (FBS). FBS is an analytical tool that provides comprehensive, detailed, country specific data on an annual basis relating to supply and utilization primary and processed commodities, covering variables such as stocks and food loss, animal feed and availability for human consumption. The annual compilation and dissemination of food balance sheets offers the most comprehensive and comparable coverage in terms of commodities and geographic territories. Food balance sheets show the trends in the overall national food supply, disclose changes that may have taken place in the types of food consumed, and reveal the extent to which the food supply of the country is adequate in relation to nutritional requirements. The statistics provided through the food balance sheet are used to design and target policies to reduce hunger in countries. FAO’s work on CLFS contributes significantly to its effort to eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition, to make agriculture more productive and sustainable and to enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems. In addition, it contributes, directly or indirectly, to the international monitoring of several key indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 2.1 (food security), SDG 3.5 (substance abuse) and SDG 12.3 (post-harvest losses).

Food loss and waste

The Sustainable Development target 12.3 states “By 2030, to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.”

As custodian agency for this target, the FAO developed the methodology for the indicator SDG 123.1.a Food Loss Index and a food loss estimation model to fill in data gaps.

Activities undertaken include compilation and dissemination of the Food Loss Index (FLI), collection of food loss data from countries through Agriculture Production Questionnaires and Food Loss Questionnaires, modelling of food loss data to come up with country estimates, capacity development and technical assistance to various countries in measuring losses and compiling of the FLI.

To help compensate for data scarcity, FAO is compiling a database on food loss and food waste data reported throughout the literature. The database contains information from various openly accessible sources across food groups, value chain stages and geographical areas. The database currently has data from overt 500 publications, reports, and studies.