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Mrs. Rasmiya Aliyeva, expert of the FAO Statistics Division, visited Tajikistan on May 19-28 at the invitation of the Statistical Agency to review the preparation of food balances in Tajikistan and the development of recommendations.

The visit took place as part of the Statistical Agency and FAO project "Strengthening of the National Food for Security Information System in Tajikistan".

The expert met with the Statistical Agency experts responsible for providing data for the food balance, specialists of ministries and departments. Sowing norms of agricultural products, natural loss, feed costs, loss rate, sources of government reserves, rates of conversion, transformation of raw materials into finished products, stock of goods definition, changes in inventories and other aspects were discussed.

It was noted that basic foodstuffs rates of conversion into the original product for more detailed basis, the list of average consumption rates of raw materials per unit of output, a unified approach to classification and coding system should be developed.

 A workshop on the methodology of ‘Supply utilization accounts and FAO food balance sheets was held in the Statistical Agency on May 27, 2014. The workshop was attended by the Statistical Agency senior management and leading specialists; representatives from FAO – Mrs. Francois Trine, Senior Technical Advisor of the project, Mr. Rasulov A – National Project Manager, Mr. Farivar Afsahzod – National Project Consultant.

Specialists from the Academy of Agricultural Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Institute of Agricultural Economics, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, State Unitary Enterprise "Galla", State Unitary Enterprise "Hurokvori", Tadzhikmatlubot, the State Reserve, Tadzhikgosstandart, Nutrition Center of the Ministry of Health and others were invited to participate in the seminar. 

Mrs. Hasanova Gulnora Kenjaevna, the Director of the Statistical Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, thanked for providing technical assistance in implementation of the "National Food for Security Information System in Tajikistan", and noted the importance of international standards in the development of food balance sheets to reflect the real situation on provision the country with food products.

Mrs. Aliyeva presented the FAO methodology of compiling food balance sheets, an overview of compiling food balance sheets in Tajikistan and made recommendations.
In particular she noted that food balance sheets as a tool for analysis and decision making are needed for:
- estimates of food and agricultural situation in the country,
- calculation of the total deficit and surplus based on the norms expressed in caloric value (kcal ), as well as proteins , carbohydrates and fats,
- information on food deliver per capita, which together with the elasticity coefficient of the population, etc. is very important for predicting the food needs of the country,
- establishing the relationship between the national food supply and malnutrition,
- estimates of food and nutrition policy,
- the base to analyze the food security policy.

The workshop participants discussed the recommendations presented by Mrs. Aliyeva and in particular it was noted that a cross-industry expert working group must established to review all data and settings required for compiling of food balances; to compile food balance sheets at a disaggregated level and apply technical rates of conversion for calculation into primary product and/or vice versa; to develop seed costs for individual products and etc. together with the specialists from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Agricultural Sciences

It was recommended that food balance sheets for the last five years should be reviewed with taking into account the new methodology, approved norms and factors relevant to national needs.

 In conclusion, Mrs. Francoise Trine, the senior technical advisor of the project, noted that she would consider with the FAO management the possibility of extending the project to conduct training for the producers and users of balance sheets, and training on adaptation and use of FAO Excel Module for compiling balance sheets.