Rising food prices need global perspective, cuts in food wastage: CII

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New Delhi, May 4 : Expressing concern over rising food prices, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) on Sunday called for an immediate global response and a cut in food wastage.

"We need to build a global platform for dialogue and action to manage the crisis," the CII said in a statement.

"The entire issue of food prices needs to be seen in a global perspective and not just seen as an issue emanating from specific countries. There is a need for greater flow of global information on food production and consumption and cuts in food wastage," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said.

"We are setting up a Task Force to look into this area," he added.

The business body was of the view that the current crisis has been created due to several reasons. The main factors for the crisis include diversion of food to bio fuels, changing weather conditions across the globe leading to droughts, which mean lower food production in several countries, and huge agricultural subsidies which encourage leaving agricultural land fallow to maintain global prices of agricultural products.

The global food management system can be developed under the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), according to CII.

Banerjee said that CII is working on an agenda for developing second generation of bio-fuels, which do not eat into the food stock or impinge on agricultural land.

This calls for a global discussion on how this can be managed and extensive partnerships in research and development for development of second-generation feedstocks, because alternate supply of fuels cannot also be ignored, he added.

It may be recalled that inflation rose again to a new high of 7.57 per cent for the week ended April 19 from 7.33 per cent in the previous week largely due to highly priced food items like rice, milk, tea, vegetables and some metal products.

Prices of basic metals and alloys rose by 1.3 per cent. Iron and steel prices rose by 1.1 per cent. The index of fuel group also rose marginally due to higher prices of light diesel oil and furnace oil.

The corresponding figure in last year was 6.07 per cent. The wholesale price index based inflation touched the previous high of 7.76 per cent for the week ended November 2, 2004.

ANI

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