New online tool: Food Systems Dashboard

The Food Systems Dashboard aims to enable stakeholders to compare their food systems with those of other countries, and will provide guidance on potential priority actions to improve food systems' impacts on diets and nutrition.

A new online dashboard to inform better food policy was jointly launched in June 2020 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and The Johns Hopkins Alliance for a Healthier World. The Food Systems Dashboard houses food systems data from more than 230 countries and territories. It is designed to help decision makers understand their food systems, identify their levers of change, and decide which ones to pull.

Food systems encompass an entire range of actors - including, but not limited to, farmers, traders, processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and consumers - and the processes that get food from the fields to markets to tables. Well-functioning food systems can ensure the availability, accessibility, and affordability of nutritious foods for healthy diets.

The Food Systems Dashboard is a resource intended for policymakers, non-governmental organisations, businesses, civil society leaders, and other actors to enable timely visualisation of national food systems, understand the interconnections across multiple sectors, perform comparisons with other countries, identify key challenges, and prioritise actions.

For example, a policymaker in the Ministry of Health can look at country-level data about people's intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as nutrition and health outcomes such as high blood pressure, which may indicate a correlation between lower intakes of these nutritious foods and a higher prevalence of high blood pressure. The data can be compared across countries by region, food systems type, or income classification to inform public health policies to promote increased intake of these foods.

Policymakers would also be able to look at long-term average annual precipitation in their country and how it is changing over time in the face of climate change. This, paired with data on the per cent of cultivated land equipped for irrigation, can help inform decisions such as how to best utilise their agricultural water sources to increase yields of key crops.

(FAO/ile)

Read more at FAO website

Visit the The Food Systems Dashboard

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