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Food security should not distort global agriculture market: European Union

Wednesday, 4 December 2013 - 6:23pm IST | Agency: PTI

Amid India's hard posture that the food security issue is "non-negotiable", the European Union today said that every human has the right to food security but the programme should not distort the global agriculture market.

"Every human being has the right to food security, either living in India or (elsewhere), ... discussion at stake is how do you make sure that the food security programme does not distort the agriculture market," EU Trade Commissioner Karl De Gucht told reporters here at a press briefing after the plenary session of the WTO ministerial conference.

Trade ministers and diplomats from around 130 countries are participating in the four-day meeting that started yesterday. The G-33, grouping of 46-member developing nations including India, China and Indonesia, has proposed to amend the WTO Agreement on Agriculture in order to procure foodgrains from poor farmers at minimum support price and sell them to poor people at cheap rates through public distribution system.

Developed regions such as the EU and the US are against stockpiling of foodgrains, which is used by India to supply cheap grains under its food security programme.

India's Food Security Act entitles its 82 crore people to 5 kg of foodgrains per person a month at Rs 1-3 per kg. The country needs 62 million tonnes foodgrains a year to implement the law.

"For India, food security is non-negotiable. Need of public stock-holding of foodgrains to ensure food security must be respected. Dated WTO rules need to be corrected," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said while addressing the plenary session.

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