Food prices rising due to high oil prices : Hoda

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Kochi, Aug 30 (UNI) Member of Planning Commission Anwarul Hoda today said food prices across the globe had increased due to spiralling oil prices and the need for more bio-fuel.

Addressing a gathering at a function organised by the Agriculture (WTO Cell) Department of Kerala Government here, Mr Hoda said, ''lot of crops of food value like sugarcane, soyabeans and corn were used to make ethanol to produce bio-fuel and this had resulted in short supply of food commodities.'' Another problem was the tendency to cultivate more and this would also result in high food prices, he said.

Citing an example, Mr Hoda said if wheat was cultivated in large quantities, this would result in increase in price of fertilisers used for cultivation, which would have a spiralling effect on the prices of wheat in the market.

Speaking on the Doha round of WTO negotiations on agriculture, Mr Hoda said the round would end any moment as everyone had lowered their ambitions on agriculture.

He also raised his apprehensions over the negotiating powers of the US administration as President George Bush's term was nearing completion.

Mr Hoda also noted that the negotiations would get a boost if Democratic presidental candidate Barack Obama won the elections.

UNI MA GM SM SR RN2048

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