Food and Agriculture Microdata Catalogue (FAM)

The Food and Agriculture Microdata (FAM) Catalogue provides an inventory of datasets collected through farm and household surveys which contain information related to agriculture, forests, food security,  and nutrition. The FAM catalogue is populated by datasets which are collected directly by FAO and datasets whose collection are supported in some way by FAO. Our aim is to be a one-stop-shop containing metadata on all agricultural censuses and surveys which are publicly available as well as provide direct access and/or links to the microdata.

FAM is continuously updated as new datasets from FAO and member countries become available. Organizations which collect relevant data are also highly encouraged to submit datasets for dissemination through FAM.

Development of the FAM was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development. Surveys including the Food Insecurity Experience Scale collected through the Gallup World Poll received large contributions from the Department for International Development, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

What are microdata? 

  • Microdata are unit-level information usually collected through surveys, censuses, and administrative sources.
  • Microdata contain information on individuals, households, business, geographic areas, etc. and are rich input into policy analysis, research, and highly disaggregated (e.g. by gender, migration status, indigenous, age group, etc.) statistics.

Terms of use

  • All potential microdata users are required to agree to a disclaimer, in which they agree to follow a general terms of use in order to access a license dataset, and acknowledge that the original collector of the data, the Microdata Library and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for any use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses. The general agreement and conditions to access and use datasets in the Food and Agriculture Microdata (FAM) catalogue can be found in the Terms of Use for Datasets.

Data disclosure methods

  • All micro datasets are processed and anonymized by the Office of Chief Statistician before dissemination. The main steps involve checking and removing all direct identifiers and extremely sensitive variables, measuring the risk in the dataset and applying the appropriate disclosure control method. This is done in order to protect the confidentiality of the respondent and make the dataset safe for dissemination. Consequentially, the Office of Chief Statistician developed a guidance document on appropriate Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC) methods to use and apply on the different datasets. 

License to redistribute

  • Data providers who are willing and interested to share their datasets, must sign a License to redistribute agreement, in order to grant FAO the right to process and disseminate their respective datasets on the Food and Agriculture Microdata (FAM) catalogue. This is especially the case for non-FAO/external data providers.

What are microdata used for?

  • FAO and Member States increasingly rely on microdata for monitoring and evaluation, tailoring programming and policy interventions, conducting research, and monitoring important development trends such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Security measures 

  • Security measures: Appropriate organizational, physical, and technical security measures, procedures and controls have been put in place to safeguard data available on FAM. Such security measures, procedures, and controls must, at all times, be proportionate and responsive to the risks identified.
  • Storage: Taking into account the level of confidentiality, data on FAM is stored in appropriate locations and in a manner that reduces the risk of accidental or unauthorized processing, loss or corruption. Since data on FAM is processed or stored by a cloud service provider, the FAO Cloud Adoption Strategy, Cloud Computing Guidelines and Vulnerability Assessment fully apply for all the data on FAM.
  • Access to data: Taking into account the level of confidentiality attributed to the data, access to the data on FAM can be authorized and granted to those who have fulfilled the Terms of Use.  

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