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LEARNING OBJECTIVES

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LEARNING OBJECTIVES. Identify the most used availability indicators, at both national and household level. Identify the criteria for selecting the appropriate availability indicators. INTRODUCTION. What are availability indicators?.

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slide1

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Identify the most used availability indicators, at both

national and household level.

  • Identify the criteria for selecting the appropriate
  • availability indicators.
slide2

INTRODUCTION

What are availability indicators?

Availability indicators identify what aspects to analyse when you assess food availability in a country.

slide3

INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND AVAILABILITY

Key aspects for understanding availability:

  • Availability of basic foods, and their nutritional components.
  • Location of households, their livelihood and agro-ecological zones.
  • Seasonality in supplies and consumption and key factors affecting local production of food.
  • Factors affecting other sources of supply.
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INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND AVAILABILITY

KEY COMMODITIES FOR CONSUMPTION

Which foods are really important to basic consumption?

The first place to startis making a list of the key staples.

Another key thing to understand is “substitution of food”.

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INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND AVAILABILITY

NUTRITIONAL COMPONENTS OF BASIC STAPLES

Looking at the nutritional content of the food staples helps link food availability to utilization in human consumption.

A common estimate is availability of kilocalories, based on the staple foods available.

Since diets may change during the year, kilocalorie availability may change as well.

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INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND AVAILABILITY

SEASONALITY IN SUPPLIES AND CONSUMPTION

What and how much people eat will vary, based on price changes, season and geographic area?

There is an “hungry season” between harvests, when household stocks have been eaten or sold, and the new crop isn’t yet ready.

Create a cropping calendar to see these periods.

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INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND AVAILABILITY

VULNERABILITY OF HOUSEHOLDS

The vulnerability to a specific supply or availability problem.

If households depend on a single source of supply and that source is no longer available, they may be vulnerable, and you need to highlight that key availability problem.

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INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND AVAILABILITY

FACTORS AFFECTING LOCAL SUPPLY

Think of what is produced and what might negatively affect production (pests, diseases, lack of rainfall...)

Positive factors could be farmers access to improved inputs, or farmers deciding to cultivate more land for food crops.

Government reserves may be used at any given point in time and must be considered as part of availability.

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INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND AVAILABILITY

FACTORS AFFECTING OTHER SOURCES OF SUPPLY

Trade, food aid and policy aspects are other components of availability

Availability may be reduced if your government closes the border to imports or if a neighbour changes import and export requirements.

Local and sub-regional analysis is needed to add to the national and household availability analysis.

It is hard to find an indicator for the policy side, but it should not be left out of the picture on food availability.

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POTENTIAL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

Some potentialindicators which might be used to collect information on the key aspects of food availability are:

NATIONAL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

AVAILABILITY INDICATORS FOR DOMESTIC PRODUCTION

MARKET AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

POTENTIAL HOUSEHOLD LEVEL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

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POTENTIAL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

If you develop a Food Balance Sheet, you will have the following national availability indicators:

NATIONAL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

Estimated imports through usual commercial channels and announced imports through public channels (food aid commitments)

Total production of food staples (in metric tonnes or in kilocalories)

Uncovered Gap: amount that remains unmet given using information on imports during a typical year or the previous year

Total Gap: difference between total production and total consumption needs, which is the estimated amount needed from imports (commercial or food aid)

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POTENTIAL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

NATIONAL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

Strengths

They are useful at a national level for overall planning and relatively easy to get estimates.

Weaknesses

The estimated food gap can give a false picture of high imports needed if supply estimated from production or from trade are inaccurate.

The Food Balance Sheet is not useful for understanding who is food insecure.

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POTENTIAL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

To predict production, you can use a combination of indicators for area planted and potential yield.

AVAILABILITY INDICATORS FOR DOMESTIC PRODUCTION

Yield estimates

Total area planted

Current season’s rainfall pattern compared to 5 year average (graph by month, week, or 10-day period)

Use of improved inputs

Damage caused by pests and diseases

slide14

POTENTIAL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

Markets may provide part of the puzzle on availability.

MARKET AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

Prices and price shifts for main staples

Stocks held by private and public sector

Road and transport access, road closures, security problems limiting transport

Percentage of all weather roads

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POTENTIAL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

MARKET AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Prices as indicators must be systematically collected at identified market levels (wholesale, retail). They are very rough, as they combine both supply and demand. Prices need to be carefully interpreted.
  • Data on price of stocks being held by the private sector may be more difficult to access, as business people tend to guard information.
  • Prices as indicators may be regularly collected and easily available, at least for the main markets.
  • Data on stock being held by the government should be available to you without a high cost.
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POTENTIAL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

Household availability may be based strictly on current stocks of food.

POTENTIAL HOUSEHOLD LEVEL

AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

Months of food availability from own production and stocks of food staples

Total kilocalories produced of basic staples compared to total kilocalorie needs of household over the year

Annual

Seasonal

slide17

POTENTIAL AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

POTENTIAL HOUSEHOLD LEVEL

AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • May require survey research, not quick to collect and requiring resources.
  • Must be put into a context over time to see changes.
  • Must be combined with access indicators to understand food insecurity at the household level.
  • Critical to:
  • understand availability within different regions of your country; and
  • identify households with severe threats to food security.
slide18

SELECTING AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

How to select the best mix of indicators

to understand a specific situation?

A good availability indicator should...

  • Be relevant for decision making
  • Reflect the reality
  • Use resources efficiently
  • Reflect seasonal and geographic differences
slide19

SELECTING AVAILABILITY INDICATORS

Two other valuablequalities of indicators are:

By estimating indicators that are used by other countries, you can better understand your own situation and how availability over a set of countries may be affected in a crisis.

Indicators are useful for other purposes. For example, the Food Balance Sheet is often a multi-agency effort, with Ministries, agencies and donors working together.

slide20

SUMMARY

The national indicators are good for understanding the overall situation and possibility for large-scale disruptions due to a production shortfall.

Completing the basic supply and demanding part of an FBS on a sub-national level and seasonal basis, give greater detail in the picture of availability and what might affect it.

Production estimates may be simple trend predictions with modifications for shifts in yield and area. More elaborate models may be used to forecast production, but that will require more advanced skills and resources.

At the market level, most of the work will be in the access side of things, but simple price graphing over time can help to identify availability constraints.

At the household level, knowing how long stocks will last and when the next harvest will come can be critical indicators of possible food insecurity. If many of your farmers rely heavily on their own production, you will find production shortfalls good predictors of stress. Reporting on levels of household stocks and their differences with a typical year will give policy makers a measure of the availability from own production.

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IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE...

Online resources:

FAO (2002). Food Balance Sheets and Food Consumption Surveys: A Comparison of Methodologies and Results. Paper #7 for the Project on Intensified Monitoring of Food Security in CIS Low Income Food-Deficit Countries Rome: FAO Agricultural and Development Economics Division (ESA). (in PDF)

(http://www.foodsec.org/DL/course/shortcourseFA/en/pdf/7_FBS_FCS.pdf)

FAO (2002). Training in Crop Monitoring and Forecasting. Paper #1 for the Project on Intensified Monitoring of Food Security in CIS Low Income Food-Deficit Countries, Rome: FAO Agricultural and Development Economics Division (ESA). (in PDF)

(http://www.foodsec.org/DL/course/shortcourseFA/en/pdf/1_crop.pdf)

Aube, Thierry (2005). Improving the Methodology for Joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions: Estimating Commercial Imports. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), GIEWS. Available at (http://www.fao.org/giews/english/tools.htm)

FAO (undated). Nutritive Factors, Rome: FAO Agricultural and Development Economics Division (ESA). Accessed March 8, 2007. (http://www.fao.org/es/ess/xxx.asp)

FAO (2006). Cassava Assessing Handbook for Improved Integration of Cassava in the FAO/WFP Joint Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM). Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (http://www.fao.org/giews/english/tools/Cassava_Guidelines.pdf)

FAO (2006). FAOSTAT website on Supply Utilization Accounts (SUA) and Food Balance Sheets (FBS). Accessed August 3, 2006. (http://faostat.fao.org/site/354/default.aspx)

FAO Statistics Division. Website on Supply Utilization Accounts and Food Balance Sheets in the Context of a National Statistical System. (http://www.fao.org/es/ess/suafbs.asp)

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IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE...

Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS) (2006). Crop Prospects and Food Situation. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), GIEWS. (http://www.fao.org/giews/english/cpfs/index.htm)

FAO. 2007. Crop Prospects and Food Situation, Vol. 1 (February): 2007. (http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/j9247e/j9247e06.htm#21)

GIEWS Crop Prospects and Food Situation - No. 1 February 2007 (http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/j9247e/j9247e00.htm)

Food Security Analysis Unit – Somalia. 2007. Special Brief: Post-Deyr 06/07 Analysis. Nairobi, Kenya: Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) – Somalia. (http://www.fsausomali.org/uploads/Other/941.pdf)

Maxwell, S., and T. Frankenberger (1992). Household Food Security Indicators: Concepts, Indicators, Measurements: A Technical Review. New York and Rome: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). (http://www.ifad.org/hfs/tools/hfs/hfspub/index.htm)

Riely F, Mock N, Cogill B, Bailey L, Kenefick E. (1999). Food security indicators and framework for use in the monitoring and evaluation of food aid programs. Washington, D.C.: Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA). (http://www.fantaproject.org/publications/fsind.shtml)

FEWSNET. 2007. Mozambique Food Security Update, January 2007. Washington, DC: FEWSNET. Available at (http://www.fews.net/centers/files/Mozambique_200612en.pdf)

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