Buffer Stocks

Context: Irregular rainfall patterns is resulting in production fluctuations of agricultural crops.

How the production fluctuation is happening?

  • Unreliability of kharif crop production even in normal monsoon years: In the last two years, excess rains in a single month has damaged the standing crops including onions, pulses and soybean leading to production losses of kharif crop.
  • Bumper harvest during Rabi season: Extended monsoon rains, although not beneficial for kharif, will help recharge groundwater aquifers and thereby result in bumper production during the rabi season.
  • Hence the rabi crop will increasingly impart stability to India’s agricultural output.

What are the steps taken by the government?

  • Banning exports and easing imports.
  • Imposing stock holding limits in onions.
  • Forcing cold store owners to release potatoes deposited with them.

What is the way forward?

  • With climate change and irregular rainfall patterns becoming a norm, Production fluctuations are inevitable
  • The government should create a buffer stock of not just food grains, but even onion, potato, sugar, edible oil, milk powder and white butter, to enable non-distortive marketing intervention.



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