The Warehouse Receipts System: Improving Food Security in the Post-Harvest Value Chain

  • Date Posted: October 7, 2011
  • Authors: Ashleigh Mullinax
  • Organizations: SEEP Network
  • Document Types: Case Study or Vignette
  • Donor Type: Non-Governmental Organization

As part of the Rural Agricultural Finance and Food Security (RAFFS) Practitioner Learning Program (PLP), the Kahzi Kadaimaidai Farmers Federation (KKFF) and the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme-India (AKRSPI) collaborated to examine the impact of warehouse receipts activities and delayed marketing of agricultural products on the household food security of rural clients in India. A warehouse receipts system can allow rural farmers to delay sales of recently-harvested crops by providing them with credit, storage space and market information until the market has stabilized and prices have increased. 

KKFF and AKRSPI’s study set out to discover whether better crop prices and increased income for rural farmers could ultimately lead to an improvement in food security at the household level. It was envisioned that household food security could potentially be improved in two ways: increased availability of key staple foods in the local market and better access to food as a result of additional income earned through sales of agricultural products. 

About RAFFS: In 2010, the number of undernourished people worldwide topped 925 million. Among the many factors responsible for this figure are high domestic food prices, lower household incomes, and increasing unemployment, all of which have significantly reduced access to food for the poor. Research has shown that a healthy agricultural sector can provide an economic buffer during financial crises. In addition, financial services responding to the food security needs of rural households can lead to more successful outreach and have a greater impact on the poor.

The Rural Agriculture Finance and Food Security Practitioner Learning Program (RAFFS) is an action-learning project focused on approaches to and connections between rural and agricultural finance and household well-being, including food security. The envisioned impact is that rural households and enterprises will have increasing finance options that serve their needs and contribute to a vibrant rural economy both on and off the farm.