Developing capacity for strengthening food security and nutrition

Kyrgyzstan adopts a new methodology for food security analysis in the country

With the support of FAO, the National Statistics Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic adopts the Food Balance Sheets. The FBS, which is made up of three sets of data, measures the overall national food supply; changes on the types of food consumed; and the extent that food supply of the country is adequate in relation to nutritional requirements; making this a key element for the design and targeting of policies to combat hunger and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Food security of the Kyrgyz Republic is an integral component of national and economic security of the country as a whole, since food security is closely linked with the general process of social and economic development of the country. The Food Balance Sheet will provide the country with a comprehensive picture of the food movement starting from production to consumption during a specified reference period and can be useful for preparing and formulating related plans, programs including policy decision-making process for ensuring food security as a whole.

The FAO project “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia, funded by the Russian Federation provided technical support to National Statistical Committee (NSC) for the revision of the food balance methodology to improve food security and nutrition awareness.

FAO assistance included a survey for agricultural households (peasant farms + household plots) for estimating available stocks and the development of software and economic calculations for the analysis of the results of the survey. In addition, FAO also supported a study tour of employees of the NSC to the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus in order to obtain international experience in the development of balance sheet items.

The methodology allows for a cost-effective mean by which NSC can collect data on various aspects of food supply and utilization. One of the primary applications of Food Balance Sheet is to calculate derived indicators using data to analyze a wide range of concepts, including hunger, malnutrition, import dependence, food self-sufficiency, and food loss. In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this specifically will contribute to producing reliable data to measure progress against certain targets. One of the most widely known of these indicators is SDG 2.1.1 the Prevalence of Undernourishment (PoU).

The methodology was presented at a round table, which was organized by NSC and FAO in Bishkek on May 04, 2018 front of an audience of key ministries and other partners. The round table gave an opportunity to facilitate discussion on a number of issues related to the calculation of the balance of basic food products.

The revised methodology was adopted at a methodology committee (6 of April 2018) of the NSC in line with the FAO recommendations.