Public food stocks in Africa — AFD

As the next World Trade Organization conference agenda (WTO; Bali, December 2013) illustrates, the public food stocks hold an important place in the international negotiations about agricultural and food policies. Such a situation can be explained partly by the plurality of the roles devoted to this instrument.

Indeed, a public stock can be part of a struggle against the rise or the fall in prices or of a price level stabilisation within a range; it can also (or instead) be used to lower the impacts on the most vulnerable households of a price spike, a drop in production or a conflict; finally, it can match the will of a country to secure the supply in an unstable regional or global context. Then, the stocks question constitutes one of the main prongs of the debate about risks management policies, for price shocks as well as for other types of shocks.

This study, co-financed by the AFD and the Foundation for World Agriculture and Rurality (FARM), emerges from the intensity of those debates, on the one hand, and of the applications for storage infrastructure funding from various African countries, on the other hand. The purpose was to provide a framework of recommendations to the developing countries stakeholders, and their partners, committed in the preparation or the establishment of public storage systems; from an analyse of the current states of theoretical debates, a review of the recent political changes in public storage of agricultural products, and the conduct of three study cases (Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Egypt).

Read the publication: