India expresses concern at use of foodgrains for biofuels

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New Delhi, Apr 1 (UNI) Expressing India's concern at the increasing use of foodgrains for production of biofuels, Minister of State for Food and Public Distribution Akhilesh Prasad Singh said this has resulted in unprecedented hike in prices of foodgrains, making them unaffordable for poor population of the world.

Speaking at the 'Third International Grain Summit-2008' at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Dr Singh highlighted the challenges being faced by the Indian Government in ensuring food security for its population.

Dr Singh is leading a six-member high-level Indian delegation as critical issues concerning the global and special food security are being discussed at the Summit.

Stating India's position in his keynote address at the Summit, Dr Singh apprised that the efforts were being made to raise the annual production of foodgrains in the country from 210 million tonnes to 232.50 million tonnes in the next five years.

''The Indian Government is hopeful of procuring enough wheat for its Public Distribution System from the domestic supplies,'' he said, according to an official release here.

The Summit is being attended by Mr Andrey Slepnev, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Russia, Mr Arkadiy Ziochevsky, President Russian Grain Union, Mr Abbassian Abdolreza, Representative of FAO and Mr Hesham Fathy Ragab, Vice Minister of Trade and Industry, Egypt.

Dr Singh also met Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Andrey Slepnev today to discuss bilateral cooperation in field of agriculture with special emphasis on international wheat scenario.


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