United Nations Committee of Experts on food security, agricultural and rural statistics (UN-CEAG)

Chair: Susana Patricia PEREZ CADENA, Deputy Director General of Economic and Agricultural Censuses, National Institute of Statistics and Geography, Mexico.

Members of the Bureau: FAO, World Bank and Mexico.

About the Committee

The United Nations Committee of Experts on food security, agricultural and rural statistics (formerly known as the Inter-Agency Expert Group on food security, agricultural and rural statistics) aims to develop and document good practices and guidelines on concepts, methods and statistical standards for food security, sustainable agriculture and rural development statistics. This Committee, formed by experts from national statistical offices, ministries of agriculture and international organizations, was created under the umbrella of the UN Statistical Commission at its 43rd session in 2012.

The Committee is represented by an elected Chair, which has the responsibility to develop, in close cooperation with the Bureau (designated committee members) and the Secretariat (the Statistics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), a multi-year strategic framework and an annual programme of work for the Committee, monitor progress of the various components of the programme and set the agenda for the meetings. The Committee’s activities and tasks are organized by task teams, for which members of the Bureau will be assigned as leads and follow the implementation of the various programmes of work more closely. All members of the Committee will meet at least once a year in the margins of the UN Statistical Commission.

Finally, the UN-CEAG regularly reports progress on its programme of work to the UN Statistical Commission. More information on the mandate, governance arrangements and the functioning of the Committee can be found in its terms of reference.

Collaboration with technical experts groups

In the implementation of its mandate, the Committee will liaise with other relevant technical expert groups and groups/bodies under the umbrella of the Statistical Commission, mainly

Programme of Work (2024–2027)

The Programme of Work (2024–2027) of the Committee will be discussed at the UN Statistical Commission at its 55th session.

The proposed Programme of Work focuses on three areas: (i) food security and nutrition statistics, (ii) the World Programme of the Census of Agriculture 2030, and (iii) Earth observation data for agricultural statistics and disaster impact monitoring and reduction.

For the first area of work "food security and nutrition statistics", it is proposed to (1) develop a multilaterally agreed definition of Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) Data, (2) establish a minimum set of core FSN data with references to their respective recommended methodologies and indicators, and (3) develop guidance to help countries prioritize the collection of relevant FSN data.

For the second area of work on the 2030 Round of the World Census of Agriculture (WCA), it is proposed to create a dedicated UN-CEAG task team to support the development of FAO Guidelines on the WCA 2030, to be endorsed by the UN Statistical Commission at its 57th session.

Finally, for the third area of work on Earth observation data, the UN-CEAG proposes to continue its work on the use of EO data for agricultural statistics in collaboration with the UN Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science for Official Statistics (UN-CEBD). The joint task team is discussing the possibility of investigating methods and tools for (1) the integrated use of Radar and Optical satellite images to produce crop type and crop yield maps and monitor and reduce disaster impacts; (2) the use of drones to collect in-situ data; (3) the enhancement of time series analysis of satellite images for the development of country-level and global-level Satellite Image Data Cubes;  and (4) the data protection and sharing framework for in-situ data. The joint task team also aims to make data, tools and information generated in its last programme of work more accessible to NSOs and statistical systems. Finally, the group suggests contributing to the improvement of EO training curricula.

Main achievements (2013–2023)

The main achievements of the Committee so far are as follows:

E/CN.3/2020/13, para. 67