Indian Catholic News

Food bank stocks to combat price rise

Regional cooperation group mulls using existing stocks to ease burden on poor.

The prices of staple foods such as rice are continuing to rise in Bangladesh.

South Asian leaders and officials are mulling the use of regional food bank stocks as the volatility of food prices is causing the poor to suffer.

“Such a move could help stabilize food prices in the region,” Bangladesh Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque said at the start of a special meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s (SAARC) Food Bank board in Dhaka yesterday.

He said no South Asian nation is able to ensure food security, and so cooperation within the region is imperative in order to tackle food shortages during disasters and to stabilize food prices.

The meeting was chaired by Bangladesh’s food secretary Barun Dev Mitra and attended by officials from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan.

Up to now, the bank’s policy has been to use the food stocks in cases of natural disasters or in the event of poor crop yields.

“We discussed the issue and will decide after analyzing detailed data on food production, consumption and the imports and exports of SAARC countries,” said Elahi Dad Khan, director of the Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Food.

The SAARC Food Bank, which was established in 2007, now has food stocks of about 486,000 tons.


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