G11 Community grain banks

Food Security

Grain banks can be used to store grain within a community, that can be available to people at fair prices during times of shortage.

  • Usually grain prices are very low just after the harvest period, when most people have plenty of grain. Later in the year, grain prices may rise sharply. When people need to buy grain as their own supplies run out, prices are often very high.
  • Grain banks can buy grain when prices are low around harvest time and sell it at a fair price when it is in short supply.
  • In times of drought or famine, community grain banks can prevent traders exploiting a difficult situation and provide a fairer way of organising food supplies.


  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the present market system of buying and selling grains in your community.
  • How much do prices change throughout the year?
  • Are many families in real need of grain in the months before the main harvest?
  • Are there any grain banks in the area? Do any participants have any experience of them?
  • Would grain banks be of benefit in your area?