Food and Agriculture Statistics

Economic statistics

FAO’s work on economic statistics refers to the promotion of and access to internationally comparable data that relate to agricultural investments, prices, and public expenditure; aid flows to agriculture; and sectoral macro indicators.

The production and dissemination of these data contribute to the analyses of agricultural trends and economic policies, including a focus on food production, supporting significantly FAO’s drive to enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems.

Economics statistics include the collection and dissemination of macroeconomic indicators from member countries, in particular indicators of gross value added, capital stock, capital formation, and implicit price deflators; it also includes statistics on agricultural investment and the development of investment profiles, as well as prices relevant for agriculture producers and food consumers.

Activities on economic statistics are carried out in strong collaboration with international development agencies, such as EUROSTAT, International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and United Nations Statistics Division in order to harmonize the data collection process and reduce the burden on responding countries.

Enhancing indicators on agri-food value chains: extending the “Food dollar” approach

The FAO Statistics Division has started a collaboration with the Cornell University and the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the USDA, aimed at computing value shares of food products received by farmers and other stakeholders along agri-food value chains.

This work builds on and extends the approach employed by the USDA-ERS in computing the so-called “Food dollar” statistics. The idea is use a similar approach to elicit information on value shares accruing to different part of the agri-food system, and potentially on different product groups and factors of production, such as labour; and food expenditure categories.

The approach uses national Input Output matrices and Supply Use Tables, and applies the UN System of National Accounts (SNA) as a reference framework. The plan is to extend and upscale the computation to a large number of countries, hence generating a policy relevant dataset for a wide number of countries. To this end, steps are underway to partner with the UN Statistics Division.

By providing more information on agri-food value chains, the dataset that will be built can contribute to promote evidence-based interventions in support of different goals of the Sustainable Development Agenda; including 1, No poverty and 2, Zero hunger; and several others, such as those dealing with the use of resources (e.g. water) and factors of production (e.g. labour); or responsible consumption and production patterns.

Information on agri-food value chains can also be instrumental in light of the upcoming UN Food System Summit, by prompting a food systems approach across the entire 2030 Agenda.

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