India pitches for food security steps at WTO meet
New Delhi, Jun 12: India on Sunday pitched for a permanent solution to the issue of public stock holding of grains for food security programmes and strongly protect the interests of farmers and fishermen at the 12th ministerial meet of the World Trade Organization.
The Indian delegation is being led by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
Taking to Twitter, Goyal wrote, "Fighting for rights of our farmers within an hour of landing at WTO, Geneva at the G33 Ministerial Meeting. Discussed prospects of a permanent solution to public stockholding for food security with DG Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and my counterparts from the developing and least developed nations."
India also wants the WTO to allow exports of foodgrains from public stocks for international food aid and for humanitarian purposes, especially on a government-to-government basis, an official said.
The current WTO norms do not permit a member country to export foodgrains from public stock holdings as they are subsidised grains.
The main issues in the meeting include WTO response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including patent waiver; agriculture and food security; WTO reforms; proposed fisheries subsidies agreement; and extension of the moratorium on electronic transmission.
India has a vital stake in protecting the interests of all stakeholders in the country as well as the interests of the developing and poor nations that look up to the leadership of India at multilateral forums including WTO.