Public stockholding remains a major concern in multilateral negotiations on agricultural trade liberalisation.
This paper focuses on identifying alternative policies to buffer stockholding. It first positions buffer stocks within the range of policies aimed at price stabilisation and food security, with a view to identifying alternatives to meet the same policy objectives. The paper then examines the most direct alternative to public food stocksfor price stabilisation, namely private stockholding. It explores experience with private stockholding to assessits effectiveness in achieving price stabilisation objectives and the necessary conditions for implementation. Asthe price stabilisation role of buffer stocks is also argued to be necessary for food security, the paper alsoexplores alternative approaches that governments may take to meeting this food security objective throughsocial safety nets. Some illustrative examples are explored to highlight key elements for successful
implementation. The paper concludes with some observations regarding policy alternatives to buffer stocks.
This paper was declassified at the May 2016 by the OECD Joint Working Party of Agriculture and Trade.