We support the FAO's statistical system by addressing the specific challenges related to timeliness, granularity, data gaps, and automation of analysis for quicker insights.

The Data Lab for Statistical Innovation uses state-of-the-art methods to discover hidden information relevant to food securitynutrition, and food systems transformation. We fill gaps in official statistics by extracting data from non-conventional sources combining cutting-edge technologies including web scraping, text mining, geo-spatial data analysis and artificial intelligence. Moreover, we build and maintain different databases to provide timely, possibly real-time, information obtained from non-conventional sources to facilitate data analysis and evidence based policymaking.
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Fruits and vegetables displayed on market stall
Food Prices

The Data Lab monitors daily food prices to warn about possible anomalous dynamics, using analytical and visual tools. Moreover, the Data Lab nowcasts official food consumer price indices, based on daily prices and other high-frequency indicators.

Farmers planting crops
Food Systems Summit Analysis

The Data Lab developed an interactive application that analyses the main priorities and interventions found in the National Pathways' action plans published by countries in the context of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.

Food Loss and Waste Database

To continuously update the Food Loss and Waste database, the Data Lab scrapes the web to automatically identify openly accessible reports and studies measuring food loss and waste, and uses natural language processing (NLP) procedures to identify food products, stages of the value chain, and geographical areas, and quantities.

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Topics Explorer

The Data Lab monitors topics covered by the global press that are related to — and have an impact on — the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as food security, climate change, and food losses and waste. It provides indicators of sentiment and popularity of the topics in many countries of the world, allowing automated analysis.

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Data Lab Trends

Data Lab Trends analyses the popularity of search queries related to food security and nutrition and agrifood system transformation, over the articles gathered from media outlets across various countries and languages. With this tool, the user can search for any topic to visualize its trend over time and its geographic distribution.