Western subsidies undermining food security in developing world: India

Kamal NathMumbai: India has blamed the ''astronomical'' farm subsidies in the rich countries for ''systematically undermining'' the agricultural productive capacity and ''devastating" the food security in developing nations.

Conveying India's concerns on agriculture and industrial goods to the director general of World Trade Organisation Pascal Lamy, commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath also strongly objected to the US setting limits to flexibilities of the developing countries' market opening obligations under the Doha Round of world trade negotiations.

Articulating key Indian concerns on non-agricultural market access (NAMA) and agriculture and on various other issues as regards successful conclusion of WTO Doha Round, commerce and industry minister said that flexibilities for developing countries have to be adequate and appropriate for addressing the sensitivities of individual members.

There can be no caveats such as number and trade volume limitations as proposed by the US to the usage of these flexibilities, he said.

''Flexibilities for developing countries have to be adequate and appropriate for addressing the sensitivities of individual members," Nath said.
In agriculture, India hopes to use the revised text on Special Products (SPs) and Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) to help Indian promote Indian agriculture sector.

Kamal Nath also attended a G-33 meeting and thereafter meet Alfredo Chiaradia, secretary of state of commerce and international relations of Argentina and Celso Amorim, foreign minister of Brazil. 

Kamal Nath is in Geneva ahead of the crucial mini-ministerial meeting being convened from July 21. About 40 trade ministers are participating in the five-day deliberations that aims to reach a consensus on the modalities of arriving at a conclusion to the much-delayed negotiating round launched in 2001.

The negotiating draft on industrial goods, released on 19 May, had caveats on flexibilities at the instance of the US, which did not satisfy India and other emerging economies.

India and other developing countries, including Brazil and Argentina, are holding a series of bilateral meetings on the eve of the mini-ministerial seeking support for interest of the developing countries.