Grain reserves vs. world hunger and market volatility


With world hunger surpassing one billion people, in a time of extreme market volatility, IATP’s Sophia Murphy has authored a new report exploring the option of strategic food reserves.

The report, “Strategic Grain Reserves In an Era of Volatility,” was released today-a day before a public briefing on food reserves in Washington, D.C. tomorrow. That meeting will include representatives from Brazil, West Africa, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. to discuss their experiences with food reserves and how a new system of reserves might work.

Think Forward is a blog written by staff of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy covering sustainability as it intersects with food, rural development, international trade, the environment and public health.

Though food reserves have been used for thousands of years (China has run an ever-normal granary since 498 A.D.! More info in the report, pg 5.) they have fallen out of discussion in recent decades. Sophia Murphy’s research examines the risks and potential benefits of grain reserves in our current socioeconomic atmosphere:

“Given the extreme volatility we’ve seen in agriculture in recent years, grain reserves deserve another look,” said Sophia Murphy in our press release announcing the new report. “There are no magic bullets. Reserves alone will not end chronic hunger, and many reserves have been poorly run. But with sufficient resources, clarity of purpose, and effective governance, reserves can play a key part in a food system designed to eradicate hunger.”

Check back for updates from the “Food Reserves: Facing the Hunger Challenge,” briefing hroughout the day tomorrow.