Analysis of public foodgrain stock and distribution system in Bangladesh

Technical Report
[EWFIS Report 42]

The Public Food Distribution System (PFDS) in the area now constituting Bangladesh was originally instituted in the wake of great Bengal famine in 1943. Since independence of Bangladesh, the PFDS has changed and this change reflects, to an important degree, the drastically altered political circumstances in the post-liberation period. The PFDS has become economically costly but politically necessary instrument of food policy. Increased food production, food entitlement and self-sufficiency in food became the focal point of all programmes in this sector. Against the changed policy environment and the government’s intention to manage and operate country’s overall food system, it became imperative to revise the mandate and functions of Ministry of Food and Department of Food. The important task of the PFDS- distribution aims at price stabilization. PFDS gets supply of foodgrain from import under food aid as well as commercial and domestic procurement. The current food security policy of the GOB has three objectives: firstly, to meet the need of public food distribution system (PFDS) consisting of SR, MR and FR; secondly, to overcome food problems. Arising out of uncertainties of weather conditions, and thirdly, to stabilize the market. The policy is addressed to a situation that with the expansion of output, not only more food grains will be needed to be procured to maintain incentive prices, but the amount required to smooth out the year-to-year and season to season fluctuations will also increase. In fact, as extreme emergency condition is unpredictable, the grain reserve should essentially have two components (1) stock for operation of PFDS and (2) stock for stabilization of market including food security. Since in time of emergency it is both costly and difficult to procure from overseas sources and move emergency supply, stabilization reserve should also provide for some of the emergency need. Such a strategy will make the stabilization reserve efficient, and less costly and wasteful, as the stock will roll over continuously

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Date and language
Oct 2002
Personal Author
Agris Subject Categories: 
Food distribution
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