The FAO Statistical Yearbook is an important transition for FAO under its responsibility for regularly monitoring the global performance of food and agriculture and disseminating relevant information to policy-makers and other users. The yearbook consolidates and replaces four FAO publications: the FAO Bulletin of Statistics and the FAO Production, Trade, and Fertilizer Yearbooks. This streamlining prepares the ground for further enhancements and changes in form, content, and delivery of statistical outputs planned for future years. The aims are an enhanced statistical database, a modernized FAOSTAT interface and greater harmony between paper and electronic products. The FAO Statistical Yearbook will be published annually in two separate issues: the first providing data by topic for all countries and the second providing data for each country covering all topics. As with FAO's earlier statistical publications, the FAO Statistical Yearbook will be based on data submitted by member countries in response to standard questionnaires, supplemented by reviews of national sources.The introduction offers additional background information on technical matters, outlines the content of the yearbook, and explains its relationship to other FAO data sources. The FAO Statistical Yearbook is accompanied by the mini CD-ROM Abridged FAOSTAT CD 2004, which includes more extensive and detailed, as well as historical, information than that summarized in the yearbook.