labels: world trade organisation, trade
India to suggest rectification of distortions in world farm trade news
Our Economy Bureau
12 September 2003

Cancun: India yesterday said the commitment by the developed countries to rectify distortion in world agriculture through their hefty subsidy policies to their farmers alone hold the key to resolving the differences among the World Trade Organisation members.

In a forcible statement at the opening day of the plenary session here, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Arun Jaitley said the plight of farmers in developing countries is directly linked to the level and kind of subsidy extended to the farming sector in the advanced countries.

"It is no surprise that over the past few years, agricultural exports from developing countries to developed countries grew at just half the rate they did to other developing countries," Jaitley said. "The agriculture subsidies provided by OECD [Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development] countries are more than six times what they spend on official development assistance for developing countries.

"OECD governments support sugar producers at the rate of $6.4 billion annually — a sum nearly equal to all developing countries export. Subsidies to a cotton-grower in a developed country totalled $3.7 billion last year, which is thrice that country''s foreign aid to Africa.

"While the net effect of subsidising agriculture in advanced countries at the expense of products of the relatively poor in developing countries is to aggravate global income inequalities, developing countries on the other hand are being asked to liberalise their agriculture against all canons of equity, justice and fair play."


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India to suggest rectification of distortions in world farm trade