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  Food Balance Sheets ( FBSs ) are prepared by using timely and reliable statistic information related to domestic production, import and export, change in stock, and the like, in a simplified and reasonable approach to calculate the annual domestic supply of various foods and agricultural products. They can further serve to estimate the average daily per capita intake of various kinds of nutrition and diet that are available to be consumed by every individual national. Thus, Food Balance Sheets can be used for: (1) the improvement of national diet and nutrition status; (2) the adjustment of the supply and demand of agricultural products; and (3) the assessment and appraisal of national economic development stage.

  Food Balance Sheets constructed by individual countries are a common, internationally comparable statistical publication. They are compiled based on the principles recommended by the Handbook for the Preparation of Food Balance Sheets, which was prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Since the statistical system, method of survey, and economic development of individual country may vary greatly, it is, therefore, unavoidable that the calculations and estimates in details for FBS may be quite different among counties due to the differences in the availability of relevant information.

  Taiwan Food Balance Sheet was introduced in 1956. By consulting the methodologies used by the FAO and other advanced countries with sound statistical systems in place, the Council of Agriculture (COA) had developed a FBS improvement program in 1986. Since 1987, the COA has commissioned specific academic institutions to conduct projects on the testing and inspection on the nutrition ingredients and diet composition of major food categories, as well as to conduct surveys and studies on the distribution of major agricultural products in Taiwan. These statistical data collected are then used as a base to set up and revise the national standard for nutrition ingredients and diet composition, as well as the distribution and utilization of agricultural products in Taiwan. In 1994, using the aforementioned FBS improvement program as a guide, the COA had revised and modified the existing methods for the calculation and compilation of Taiwan Food Balance Sheets. The modification on FBS was dated back to those (FBS) sheets being prepared during 1984 and 1992. The major modifications or changes include: (1) revising food categories to reflect the structural changes of food consumption, and to facilitate the international comparison; (2) reinventing and streamlining the basic information regarding food production, import and export, and changes of stock, and modifying or redefining some of the information obtained and methods of data processing, so as to increase and enhance the accuracy and consistency of such information; (3) adjusting the ratio or proportion of distribution and utilization of all food categories to actually reflect the ups-and-downs changes of the demand from various sources; (4) revising or amending the standardization formats for food nutrition ingredients or composition to reflect those changes resulted from technological advancements in food production, transportation and processing.

  The first issue of this annual report has printed in 1990. In this annual report, in addition to the original Food Balance Sheets, itemized statistical tables in time series by main product category, and major items or elements of products are compiled and listed in greater details. It is presented both in English and Chinese to facilitate the international exchanges and comparison. Furthermore, the revised and modified formats of Food Balance Sheets are adopted to calculate and compile such vital statistics and data as food production index, food self-sufficiency ratio (SSR). In addition, a description and explanation on the methods of preparation, summaries or synopsis of data analysis, and methods of estimate for individual products was provided in order to help the FBS readers or users better understand the content and its implication of the information. The first issue of the annual report has published FBSs from 1984 to 2000, and it contains only those sheets in recent ten-year since 2001 edition.

  We appreciate the efforts in widely collecting all the information needed and closely examining and calculating the data from the staff of the COA. With all the careful and close planning and calculating, some mistakes or errors may be unavoidable due to limited time available and shortage or constraint in human resources. We sincerely welcome any valuable suggestions and would very much appreciate cogent comments from all our colleagues and experts outside the COA to make this work ever better in the future.

Jia-Chyuan, Su
Jia-Chyuan, Su
Minister, Council of Agriculture
September of 2006