G12 Establishing community grain banks

Food Security

There must be a community decision to establish a grain bank. Outsiders should not make this decision. The community must own and control the grain bank itself.

  • If a community feels that a grain bank will improve its food security, first it should elect a committee to manage the grain bank. Men may find it easier to travel to distant markets to purchase grain, whilst experience shows that women are often better at keeping open and fair accounts.
  • Initially a grain bank will require money or credit to enable the purchase of grain at low prices. Sometimes outside organisations may be able to help. Community members may be able to provide start-up loans or supplies of grain with the assurance that they will receive this back with interest later in the year.

Discussion

  • Discuss all the different issues that setting up a grain bank might involve. Is there sufficient interest to call an open meeting to discuss all these issues?
  • If possible, ask someone from an outside organisation with experience of grain banks to come and give advice.
  • What issues would need to be discussed? These might include:
    • finding or building an appropriate store
    • who would be able to use the grain store
    • who would be responsible for setting fair prices.
  • Discuss the need for training for specific roles for committee members. These might include record keeping, purchasing good quality grain, preserving grain, marketing the grain and how to manage the store.