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Training: Food Balance Sheets - A Tool for Policy Analysis and Decision-Making

 A meeting with the producers of statistics on making-out a food balance sheet and a three-day training seminar for the users of food balance sheet data was held in the Statistical Agency on November 25-28, 2014.

These events were organized with the support of the project "Support to Strengthening National Food Security Information System in Tajikistan" funded by the EU and implemented by FAO in Tajikistan.

The purpose of the project is to strengthen national capacity to create, analyze, and provide reliable information for working out strategies and programs.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Statistical Agency, e the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Employment of Population, the Ministry of Energy and Industry (SUE "Galla", SUE "Hurokvori", Institute of Nutrition), the Centre for Strategic Studies, the Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the Agency for State Reserves, the Tajikstandart, the Tajik Agrarian University, the Executive Office of the President, and collaborating organizations involved in agriculture, food security and nutrition policy.

The experts of the Statistical Agency submitted for discussion a draft methodology to compile a food balance sheet. The aim of the work is to organize countrywide statistical observations and calculations for compiling balance sheets of basic food products on the basis of a single scientific methodology in line with the international standards.

After discussion the participants arrived at a common view to further study the project and provide comments and suggestions on feed consumption norms, norms of natural loss reserves, conversion of staple food products in the original product and etc.

FAO experts Mrs. Aliyeva Rasmiya and Mrs. Kurbonova Guljakhon made presentations: a review of FAOs approach to food balance calculations; main indicators of food balance for economic analysis, evaluation of food and nutrition, assessment of malnutrition; impact assessment and vulnerability analysis through the use of food balance sheets and others.

The participants shared their views on the opportunities and limitation of using the food balance sheet, the way they will use the food balance sheet in their work; the participants also completed the test on the knowledge they acquired whish was analyzed by the FAO experts.

Ms. Gulnora Hasanzoda, the Director of the Statistical Agency or and Mrs. Françoise Treen, a Senior Project Technical Advisor, noted the importance of compiling food balance sheets conforming to international standards.

Food balances are an invaluable tool for governments, planners, researchers, and international organizations, as they provide a solid foundation to support policy analysis and decision-making in the field of agriculture, food security and nutrition.

Food balance sheet contains extensive information that can be used to develop strategies and to improve the nutrition of different population groups.

At the end of training the participants were awarded certificates of training.