Technical Assistance kicks off in Benin: supporting the compilation of Food Balance Sheets

In order to meet the lack of appropriate knowledge and skills in food security, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), supported by the Global Strategy (GS), has developed an improved methodology for estimating supply and utilization accounts and food balance sheets through the GS research program.

This new methodology will be the benchmark for capacity building and technical assistance activities on food balance sheets in the coming months.

Benin is one of the target countries of the Global Strategy’s Accelerated Plan for Technical Assistance in Africa (APTAA) for food balance sheet compilation. In this context, the Global Strategy, in collaboration with Afristat and FAO, organized a mission in Benin on 16-19 May. The objective of this mission was to assess the situation and the country’s experience in the compilation of food balance sheets.

Despite its collaboration with the Comité Permanent Inter-États de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS) since 2005 and its participation in capacity development workshops (Togo, 2014 and CILSS workshops), Benin never compiled its food balance sheet. The National Office of Food Security (ONASA) of the Ministry of Agriculture compiled balance sheets for cereals (according to the CILSS methodology) and vital food (cereals, roots and tubers – using its own approach), however, this office does not exist anymore.

In view of this situation, a technical working group has been established and core activities have been identified. A technical assistance protocol, the main outcome of the mission, is currently being developed within the formal framework of the APTAA. It will include a road map for further technical assistance activities that will lead to the publication of Benin’s first food balance sheets.