New Delhi, Apr 30 : Reacting to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's statement that the world food crisis is a result of 'improvement in the diets of people in India and China, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, Anand Sharma, told reporters here today that Indians will eat what they need.
Sharma said, "Rice has a different perception about India. It's a painful reality that there is a global shortage and the scarcity has put pressure on poor countries like ours."
"The shortage has resulted in a sharp increase in food prices, worldwide. But in India it works the other way round. Besides climate change, one major factor in India is the diversion of food grains for bio-fuels," Sharma added.
"As far as India is concerned, our people will eat what they need and it is the duty of the government to ensure adequate availability of food grains. Country should exports only when it has much in excess than its own people's demands," said Sharma.
Earlier, at the Peace Corps 2008 Country Directors Conference held in Washington Rice had said that the improving diets of the people in India and China is forcing other countries to keep their food supplies within the limits of their geographical boundaries.
She observed that China and India were not exporting food items due to internal consumption.