Note: The information on this page refers to the International Food Security Assessment (IFSA) model methodology prior to 2016. The IFSA methodology was replaced in 2016. As such, the information on this page is no longer updated. A new site with the new IFSA model and relevant datasets is under preparation.


The dataset is the one used to produce the most recent ERS International Food Security Assessment 2017-2027 report (see link below). It contains annual time-series data on food supply and use and macroeconomic variables for each of the countries covered in the report. The data provide a snapshot of each country’s grain and root and tuber sectors and provide important economic indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP), total trade, and population.

International Food Security Assessment, 2017-27

Specific variables included are:

  • Area, yield, production, nonfood use, trade, and consumption for grains and root crops
  • Food aid receipts
  • Gross Domestic Product, total value of imports and exports; and population


Food aid and root and tuber data are expressed in grain equivalents based on calorie content. For example, 1 kg (or 1,000 grams) of potatoes has about 850 calories, the same number of calories that are in 243 grams of grain, since the average grain has about 3500 calories per kg. One kg of potatoes expressed in grain equivalent is therefore 0.243 kg.

The calorie content information for food aid is obtained from the nutritional composition table provided by the World Food Programme (WFP). Each country consumes and produces different grains (e.g., wheat, corn, rice, millet, oats, rye, barley) and roots and tubers (e.g., cassava, potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes). Calorie content for these aggregate commodities is based on FAOSTAT information on per capita consumption measured in kilograms and calories.

Period Covered

The data are from 1990 to 2016 or the most recent year available.


This dataset will be updated annually following the publication of the IFSA report.

Data Sources

Grain and roots and tuber data are obtained from the FAOSTAT Production and Food Supply databases. These databases contain country data as reported by national governments and provide comprehensive global coverage of supply and use of both grains and roots and tubers.

International food aid delivery data are from the World Food Programme (WFP), the organization that coordinates and delivers most of the international food aid.

Economic variables such as GDP and total imports and exports are obtained from the World Bank’s online database.

List of variables

 Total Grains/Cereals (Source: FAO/GIEWS)

  • Area Harvested (1000 Ha)
  • Yield (MT/Ha)
  • Production Quantity (1000 MT)
  • Import Quantity (1000 MT)
  • Export Quantity (1000 MT)
  • Stock Variation (1000 MT)
  • Feed + Seed (1000 MT)
  • Waste + Processed + Other Utilization (1000 MT)
  • Food availability (1000 MT)
  • Food availability per capita (kg/cap/yr)

Food Aid (Source: World Food Programme)

  • Cereal Food Aid (Grain Equivalent, 1000 MT)
  • Non-Cereal Food Aid (Grain Equivalent, 1000 MT)
  • Total (Grain Equivalent, 1000 MT)

Root Crops (R&T) (Root and tubers) FAO conversion rate used for converting Root Crops from metric tons to grain-equivalent metric tons – (Source: FAOSTAT)

  • Area Harvested (1000 Ha)
  • Yield (MT/Ha)
  • Production Quantity (Grain equivalent, 1000 MT)
  • Import Quantity (Grain equivalent, 1000 MT)
  • Export Quantity (Grain equivalent, 1000 MT)
  • Stock Variation (Grain equivalent, 1000 MT)
  • Feed + Seed (Grain equivalent, 1000 MT)
  • Waste + Processed + Other Utilization - Stock Variation (Grain equivalent, 1000 MT)
  • Food Availability (1000 MT)
  • Food Availability per capita (Grain equivalent, kg/cap/yr)

Total Grains/Cereals plus Root crops (R&T) (calculated from grains/cereal and root/tuber crops data)

  • Production Quantity (Grain equivalent, 1000 MT)
  • Food Availability per capita (Grain equivalent, kg/cap/yr)
  • Food Supply (Grain equivalent, 1000 MT)
  • Area harvested (1000 Ha)

Other (calculated, refers to the share of calories that are NOT from grains or roots and tubers)

  • Food Supply (Grain equivalent, kg/cap/yr)
  • Food Supply (Grain equivalent, 1000 MT /year)

Population (Source: FAOSTAT)

  • Total Population - Both Sexes (million)
  • Population Growth Rate (percent)

Economic data (Source: World Bank Data)

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP), constant prices (percent change)
  • GDP (constant 2000 US$, million)
  • World Bank GDP (constant 2000 US$) / FAO population ($/person)
  • Imports of goods and services (constant 2000 US$, million)
  • Exports of goods and services (constant 2000 US$, million)
  • Import Value (million US$) (Source: FAOSTAT)
  • Import Unit Value (US$/MT) (calculated)

About the Data

FAO receives data, of varying quality, from a wide range of countries. The Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics was developed to improve the quantity and quality of agricultural statistics. The Global Strategy has a broad range of participating institutions—national and regional statistical organizations, international organizations, including FAO and the World Bank, and regional development banks and donors. These organizations share the goal of developing a framework for improving national and international statistical systems to produce basic data and information to guide public and private decision makers. The Global Strategy is based on a thorough assessment of data user needs and what is currently available.

FAOSTAT data methodologies are discussed at length.

Much of the World Bank data included in the dataset comes from the statistical systems of World Bank member countries, and the quality of global data depends on how well these national systems perform. The World Bank works to help developing countries improve the capacity, efficiency, and effectiveness of national statistical systems. World Bank Online data quality is explained on the World Bank website

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), the organization keeps its approaches and methods up-to-date in order to best analyze food insecurity and vulnerability, assess needs, and propose the most appropriate types and scales of interventions. An overview of the WFP data guidelines can be found on the WFP website.

Last updated: Thursday, October 15, 2020

For more information, contact: Felix Baquedano