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SAARC Food Bank

In pursuance of the decision taken in the 14th SAARC Summit held in New Delhi on April 3-4, 2007, the Heads of States of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries have signed the Agreement to establish the SAARC Food Bank. The Food Bank will supplement national efforts to provide food security to the people of the region. The agreement on Establishing the SAARC Food Bank was ratified by the President of India on 17th April, 2007. As per this agreement, SAARC Food Bank shall have a reserve of foodgrains to be maintained by each member states consisting of either wheat or rice, or a combination of both as assessed share of the country.

India’s initial assessed share in the reserve was 1,53,200 MTs out of a total share of 2,43,000 MTs. The assessed share was later revised and is presently kept as 3,06,400 MTs out of a total share of 4,86,000 MTs. The reserves have been kept in different strategic locations in the designated Godowns of Food Corporation of India (FCI). Joint Secretary(IC), Department of Food & Public Distribution has been designated as Member of SAARC Food Bank Board to represent India. The Board has considered and agreed to the proposal to designate the Central Grain Analysis Laboratory (CGAL), New Delhi as the regional reference laboratory for SAARC Food Bank.

The Ninth SAARC Food Bank Board (SFB) meeting has been held on 21-22 September, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal. India represented the meeting at the level Joint Secretary(IC) in the Department in the capacity of Member, SAARC Food Bank Board. The meeting inter-alia discussed matters relating to the review of the Implementation status of the decisions taken at the Eighth Meeting of the SAARC Food Bank Board (Malé, 2-3 September 2015), matters related to amending the Agreement on establishing the SAARC Food Bank, collaboration and cooperation with the International Organizations (e.g. FAO, IFAD, WFP etc.) to enhance regional food security. A presentation by SAARC Agriculture Centre on the status of the SAARC Food Bank Information System (SFBIS) was also made.