New state regulation instruments boosting the competitiveness of domestic production are needed to accelerate the import-substituting development of the real sector of Russia’s economy. This is also true for such an important part of the national economy as the agro-industrial complex (AIC). One of the new and potentially efficient state instruments for regulating the competitiveness of the AIC are the food aid programs for the low-income part of the population, widely used by advanced economies for their citizens. A potent monitoring system providing the regulator with relevant data is crucial for effective use of food aid programs as an instrument of regulating the competitiveness of the national AIC. A basic system of factors and indicators determining the need of the national agro-industrial complex in socially oriented measures for regulating the competitiveness meets the following requirements: the set of indicators should be justified by being sufficiently detailed; all computations should be simple enough and the data needed should be accessible; input and processing lags should be minimal; indicators should be anticipative with respect to the changes in the agro-industrial complex and the agri-food market parameters they describe. Four information blocks can be identified within the structure of the indicator array being monitored. They describe the internal environment of the agro-industrial complex, as well as its external environment that characterizes the foreign economic relations and the global market competitiveness and, finally, the micro-external environment. A particularly important component of the data, in view of the specific effects of food aid programs (a pronounced social effect) is the information characterizing the final demand for agri-food products by the population and the affordability of food products for the low-income segments of the population. The official data published by the Federal service of state statistics of the Russian Federation and by similar services abroad are offered as an information basis for monitoring the indicators.