Proper data of food grain stocks a must: experts
Experts yesterday suggested that the government should maintain a sound data management system of stocks and consumption of food grains in public and private sectors to improve effectiveness of the public food distribution system (PFDS).
The government has to maintain adequate stocks of food grains for the PFDS, including safety net programmes and open market sales, and preserve minimum buffer stocks for emergency use in natural disasters, according to a study by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).
The experts spoke at a workshop on "Estimation of the parameters needed for integrated and effective PFDS planning in Bangladesh", organised by the food ministry in collaboration with BIDS, at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the city.
Mohammad Yunus, senior research fellow of BIDS, presented the study.
A rigorous study needs to be undertaken to assess the strategic stock holding behaviour of private sector agents, according to the study, which also emphasised farmer-friendly domestic procurement in conjunction with regular and continuous monitoring of the global food market.
The government should find the appropriate data of food consumption by conducting household income and expenditure survey on a regular basis, the study said.
â€œAppropriate and good data can help us substantially in policy research and policy formulation,â€ said Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, food minister.
The government is working to develop a good PFDS system, said Razzaque.
The current food security policy of the government has three objectives: how to meet the needs of PFDS, how to overcome food problems and how to stabilise the market, said the minister.
â€œIt is our continuous effort to make available supply of food grains for the poor community through various safety net programmes and to maintain market prices within the reach of common people,â€ said Mushfeka Ikfat, food secretary.