Lessons from Asian experiences in maintaining strategic reserves of agricultural products

Public stockpiling of staple foods has been used for centuries as a tool for ensuring food security. But disruptions in supply of commodities during 2007-8 and 2011, forced governments to adopt specific stockpiling policies in dealing with such uncertainties. Stockpiling of agricultural products for strategic purposes such as dealing with food shortages during emergencies, controlling food markets and stabilizing the prices, is prevalent in Asian country and other developing economies. For this reason, public stockpiling is called as an Asian phenomenon. This report discusses the structures and mechanisms for management and maintaining strategic reserves for agricultural products (grain, meat, sugar, etc.) in eight countries including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, China, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. By comparing and benchmarking the experiences, and based on recommendations of World Bank, policy implications were made for Iran. 

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