Two experts who have looked at whether Norway needs a contingency warehouse for grain have different positions on the issue.
According to the newspaper Aftenposten, Christian Anton Smedshaug in AgriAnalyse believes that Norway needs grain stores because the world has proven challenging to analyze.
“We have had two examples of that now, the corona crisis and the Ukraine crisis,” Smedshaug said. He was a state secretary in the government until April this year.
“Now, the EU lacks gas, and Norway is preparing for possible power rationing. We have recently seen that many countries do not import enough cooking oil, leading to purchasing restrictions in several countries. None of this was foreseen,” Smedshaug added.
The industry’s responsibility
Ivar Pettersen has previously written two reports on whether Norway needs grain storage. In both, the conclusion was that Norway would not benefit from the state having such storage. He stated that supply shortages of more than one month were unlikely.
Pettersen still believes that there is little reason to believe that state grain storage can prevent strong price variations. He believes strengthening grain stocks must first and foremost be the industry’s responsibility.
“The entire grain industry in Norway is a protected industry. Norway has high import protection,” Pettersen told Aftenposten.
Report recommends storage
Earlier this summer, the Directorate of Agriculture concluded in a report that the state should create grain storage with a capacity equivalent to six months’ normal consumption.
In the report, according to the newspaper Nationen, among other things, it emerged that it could take seven years to put in place an emergency stockpile of 165,000 tonnes of food grain, which should be enough for half a year’s consumption.
The Stavanger harbor silo – Northern Europe’s largest grain warehouse – can store 190,000 tonnes of grain but is in commercial use. Felleskjøpet Agri estimates that the silo has approximately 50,000 tonnes of free capacity that can be used for emergency storage.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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