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Food Security and Storage in the Middle East and North Africa

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  • Donald F. Larson
  • Julian Lampietti
  • Christophe Gouel
  • Carlo Cafiero
  • John Roberts

Abstract

In times of highly volatile commodity markets, governments often try to protect their populations from rapidly rising food prices, which can be particularly harmful for the poor. A potential solution for food-deficit countries is to hold strategic reserves that can be called on when international prices spike. But how large should strategic stockpiles be, and what rules should govern their release? In this paper, we develop a dynamic competitive storage model for wheat in the Middle East and North Africa region, where imported wheat is the most significant component of the average diet. We analyze a strategy that sets aside wheat stockpiles, which can be used to keep domestic prices below a targeted price. Our analysis shows that if the target price is set high and reserves are adequate, the strategy can be effective and robust. Contrary to most interventions, strategic storage policies are counter-cyclical, and when the importing region is sufficiently large, a regional policy can smooth global prices. Simulations indicate that this is the case for the Middle East and North Africa region. Nevertheless, the policy is more costly than a procyclical policy similar to food stamps that uses targeted transfers to directly offset high prices with a subsidy.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald F. Larson & Julian Lampietti & Christophe Gouel & Carlo Cafiero & John Roberts, 2014. "Food Security and Storage in the Middle East and North Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 48-73.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:28:y:2014:i:1:p:48-73.
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    1. Brockhaus, Jan & Kalkuhl, Matthias, 2015. "Grain emergency reserve cooperation – A theoretical analysis of benefits from a common emergency reserve," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212767, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Ntsama Etoundi, Mireille, 2012. "La relation de prix entre le Cameroun et le Gabon
      [Is there a food price transmission between Cameroon and Gabon?]
      ," MPRA Paper 54373, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 May 2013.
    3. Ansgar Belke & Christian Dreger, 2015. "The transmission of oil and food prices to consumer prices," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 143-161, March.
    4. Akramov, Kamiljon T. & Shreedhar, Ganga, 2012. "Economic development, external shocks, and food security in Tajikistan:," IFPRI discussion papers 1163, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Miranda, Mario J. & Farrin, Kathleen M. & Larson, Donald F. & Chen, Shu-Ling, 2013. "Differential Effects of Food Security Policies on Subsistence Farmers and the Urban Poor," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149736, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Donald Larson & Will Martin & Sebnem Sahin & Marinos Tsigas, 2016. "Agricultural Policies and Trade Paths in Turkey," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(8), pages 1194-1224, August.
    7. Evan Fraser & Alexander Legwegoh & Krishna KC, 2015. "Food stocks and grain reserves: evaluating whether storing food creates resilient food systems," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 5(3), pages 445-458, September.
    8. Guijun Li & Daohan Huang & Yulong Li, 2016. "China’s Input-Output Efficiency of Water-Energy-Food Nexus Based on the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) Model," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-16, September.
    9. Christophe Gouel, 2014. "Food Price Volatility and Domestic Stabilization Policies in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility, pages 261-306 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:zbw:rwirep:0448 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Donald F. Larson & Julian Lampietti & Christophe Gouel & Carlo Cafiero & John Roberts, 2014. "Food Security and Storage in the Middle East and North Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 48-73.
    12. Christophe Gouel & Madhur Gautam & Will J. Martin, 2016. "Managing food price volatility in a large open country: the case of wheat in India," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 811-835.
    13. Wilson, P. & Glithero, N.J. & Ramsden, S.J., 2014. "Prospects for dedicated energy crop production and attitudes towards agricultural straw use: The case of livestock farmers," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 101-110.
    14. Ansgar Belke & Christian Dreger, 2013. "The Transmission of Oil and Food Prices to Consumer Prices – Evidence for the MENA Countries," Ruhr Economic Papers 0448, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    15. Maystadt, Jean-François & Trinh Tan, Jean-François & Breisinger, Clemens, 2014. "Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 106-115.
    16. Belke, Ansgar & Dreger, Christian, 2013. "The Transmission of Oil and Food Prices to Consumer Prices – Evidence for the MENA Countries," Ruhr Economic Papers 448, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    17. Liu, Xianglin & Romero-Aguilar, Randall S. & Chen, Shu-Ling & Miranda, Mario J., 2013. "The Global Food Price Crisis and China-World Rice Market Integration: A Spatial-Temporal Rational Expectations Equilibrium Model," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149965, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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