Community cereal banks
regulating buying and selling, otherwise the poorest will never benefit from the existence of the
Options exist for cereal banks to help the poorest. The following are some of the options:
This means that the cereal bank works out how much grain the cereal bank has and then
allows each member to buy a certain amount. Alternatively, the cereal bank determines how
much grain a family needs to buy. For example, the cereal bank might decide that each head
of a family can only buy 100kg every 15 days. This also prevents individuals buying large
quantities to resell at a profit. Alternatively, the cereal bank can allow people to buy in small
as well as large quantities, then people have a flexibility to buy from the bank whenever they
like, and according to how much money they have available.
The cereal bank members can allow people to buy on credit. But if it does so, it must make
sure that it determines:
1. How many people are likely to need credit?
2. How much of the grain in the store can it afford to sell on credit?
3. How will it deal with people who do not pay their debts?
The cereal bank can set up a social fund. For example, it can make each person who buys
grain from the bank contribute a small amount to a social fund to assist the poorest in the
For further information, contact:
Practical Action – East Africa
Box 39493, 00623
The Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development
Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ
Tel: +44 (0)1926 634400
Fax: +44 (0)1926 634401
Practical Action is a development charity with a difference. We know the simplest ideas can have the
most profound, life-changing effect on poor people across the world. For over 40 years, we have been
working closely with some of the world’s poorest people - using simple technology to fight poverty and
transform their lives for the better. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, South Asia and Latin