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.
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.
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
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.
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."