Estonia to create grain stockpile by year's end

Harvesting grain.
Harvesting grain. Source: (Mirjam Nutov/ERR)

The Estonian Stockpiling Agency (ESPA) will put together a national grain stockpile by the end of the year and has enough prefabricated food stored to last everyone in Estonia for a week.

Member of the board of the agency Priit Ploompuu said that the decision to create a cereals stockpile was made by the Riigikogu in Estonia's supplementary state budget. It was believed that the war in Ukraine could create a global grain crisis with Ukrainian exports blocked.

"While I would say the market situation is satisfactory today, we nevertheless decided to create the stockpile. We are in the closing stages of the tender and about to sign the contract and create the reserve," Ploompuu remarked.

Estonia produces more grain than it consumes.

"Rather, the risk is that a global deficit would see cereals sold to the highest bidder in free market conditions, and we might discover our silos are empty at one point. We are creating the strategic stockpile to cover a period from the start of the year until harvest," the ESPA board member said.

However, there will not be a central grain silo. The agency will have contracts with grain traders to always keep the necessary quantities available. Estonia reserves the right to buy the cereals in a crisis. ESPA already has a prepared foodstuffs stockpile based on similar principles that when distributed would last every Estonian resident one week.

"Our projection is that food reserves exist on many levels. Every household could have its own stockpile, some entrepreneurs also maintain stockpiles, while there is also a certain backup in the commercial network – at least a month's worth. On top of that, we have our food stores as a last straw measure," Ploompuu said.

The ESPA head said that Finland maintains far greater food reserves, enough to cover 36 weeks of average consumption.

"The Finns only stockpile components, not prepared food. The aim is to be able to prepare food even if you lack power or other necessary elements for production. We are still taking the first steps on that road in Estonia. We would like to see our production become more resilient in the future, which is when we could stockpile more raw materials. We would need less prepared products as stockpiling them is always more costly," the agency's representative said.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Marcus Turovski

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: