22/09/2015 Bangkok, Thailand
Countries with high incidence of under-nourishment in Asia and the Pacific have taken another step forward in a determined effort to improve their ability to collect and analyze food security statistics, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization announced today.
Food and agricultural statistics are diverse and complex subjects which cover a variety of data on crops, livestock, fish and forestry sub-sectors.
Hosted by the Royal Thai Government, FAO has convened a five-day regional training workshop on food security statistics in Bangkok. Technical specialists from eight countries in the region are taking part.
FAO does not produce its own data, but rather collects and analyses data produced by its member countries. Improving collection and analysis of agricultural statistics is among the top priorities of FAO member countries in Asia and the Pacific.
“As the world prepares for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, we must ensure that we have accurate data in order to monitor our progress toward eliminating hunger and malnutrition – which is FAO’s objective and one of the main goals of the SDGs,” said Kundhavi Kadiresan, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific.
Concerns have been expressed at several international fora over the declining quantity and quality of agricultural statistics which are fundamental for policy-makers to carry out accurate assessment and take decisions on food security interventions and agricultural and rural development. In response ‘The Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics’ was launched in an effort to strengthen agricultural statistics (The Global Strategy).
“The Global Strategy, currently being implemented in 15 countries of the Asia-Pacific region, including some of those represented here today, is a major global initiative which is contributing to national efforts at improving the availability of more accurate information to assess progress toward achieving the SDGs, which also aim to reduce poverty and achieve more sustainable means of food production,” Kadiresan remarked.
To support implementation of the Global Strategy in the Asia Pacific region, in late 2012, a Regional Action Plan was developed through a collaborative effort of FAO, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The Regional Action Plan for Asia and the Pacific defines the areas of support that the Asia-Pacific region needs in terms of technical assistance, training and research to strengthen national agricultural statistical systems and outlines activities aimed at implementing that support in a sustainable way.