What is buffer stock?

What is buffer stock? How does the government use this to ensure food security in the country?

Buffer stock is the stock of surplus food grains procured by the government through FCI from the farmers.
Following are the ways in which this stock is used by the government to ensure food security in the country
(i) The government procures food grains through FCI from the farmers after paying them a pre-announced price for their produce in Minimum Support Price.
(ii) The FCI has its god owns all over the country. It stores the purchased grains in these god owns.
(iii) The food procured by FCI is distributed through government regulated ration shops among the poor sections of the society at a price lower than the market price.
(iv) This also helps to resolve the problem of shortage of food during adverse weather conditions or during the periods of calamity.
(v) Any family with a ration card can buy 3 stipulated amount of food grains (rice and wheat) from the ration shops.