Statistiques de l’alimentation et de l’agriculture

Food balances

FAO promotes the strengthening of the statistical capacities of member countries on crop and livestock statistics and on food and utilization accounts and provides technical assistance to develop and compile national food balances. The technical assistance is based on a new application tool which incorporates the new revised methodology for the compilation, imputation and validation of the Food Balance Sheets (FBS) recently developed by the FAO Statistics Division.

FBS capacity development activities aim to provide countries, upon direct official request, with capacities for the compilation and analysis of national FBS, ideally on a regular annual basis. The FBS would provide relevant data for conducting national food security assessments according to internationally established methodologies. Indicators such as the import dependency ratio, the self-sufficiency ratio, and cross-checks such as negative apparent consumption, may all be readily obtained from the finalized FBS. In addition, the FBS can be linked to three key SDG indicators; namely, the Prevalence of Undernourishment (PoU) for SDG 2.1.1, the Post-harvest/slaughter losses for SDG 12.3.1, the Harmful use of alcohol for indicator 3.5.2. Finally, among the potential uses of the FBS, it is worth mentioning its relevance as a tool for food security policy analysis.

Capacity development activities for countries include:

  • Assessment of the FBS national capacity and data availability;
  • Establishment of a Technical Working Group (TWG) composed of key national data providers and users/analysts;
  • Highlighting of the links between some FBS variables and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), i.e. SDG 2.1.1 on Prevalence of Undernourishment; SDG 12.3.1 on Global Food Loss Index; SDG 3.5.2 on  healthy consumption;
  • Technical training on the FAO FBS methodology, overview of the newly developed FBS modules and imputation methodologies;
  • Practical exercises on the computation of the SUA/FBS;
  • Design and compilation of the national SUA/FBS using the new FBS country compilation tool (R based Shiny app);
  • Review and analysis of the finalized national SUA/FBS and of the main results; and
  • Calculation of some key indicators, such as the import dependency ratio and the self-sufficiency ratio, and draft of a final report.

FBS capacity development activities are mainly targeted at representatives from the National Statistical Institutes and from the Ministries of Agriculture. Depending on the country, other national and regional institutions are involved, such as the Ministry of livestock, the National/Regional food security committee, the Customs office, the Ministry of Fishery, the Ministry on Health and Nutrition, any other pertinent institutions. With the support from the FAO Representations in the country, a Technical Working Group (TWG) consisting of experts from the institutions who are expected to contribute to the compilation of FBS, is established. The TWG acts as national focal point overseeing the actual national compilation, and serves as the main reference for FAO concerning all activities within the project, and thereafter. In addition, it aims at coordinating the work at country level, ensuring the cooperation between the different institutions involved. The TWG is chaired by the National Statistical Institute or by the Ministry of Agriculture, depending on the country.

In order to ensure the success of the programme and provide the country with a full training on the FBS compilation methodology, three to five missions are recommended in an arc of around 8 months. Two FAO FBS experts are directly involved in the training locally and ensure remote support for the entire duration of the programme and afterward. At the end of the programme the country is expected to compile and publish the national SUA/FBS together with a brief report, including the analysis of the main findings.