WTO and Food Security: Prof M S Swaminathan

"Minister Suresh Prabhu deserves our gratitude for indicating at the ongoing Buenos Aires meeting of WTO that there can be no compromise on food security. WTO exists for promoting free and fair trade. The term “fair” should include the protection of the livelihood and food security of a majority of our people who depend on farming for their livelihood. This is why even in 1992, I suggested that there should be a livelihood and food security box which takes into cognizance the fact that agriculture in many developing countries including India is not just a commercial enterprise but it is the backbone of the livelihood security system of a large proportion of the population. This difference between a purely commercial activity and serving as a livelihood security profession should be kept in view while dealing with issues like food security reserves, and food security act. In other words, WTO should recognise the support needed for achieving Goal 2 (“End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”) of the sustainable development decade. This should be the basis of the negotiation in agriculture", said Prof Swaminathan in a statement.

(Pic credit: Minister Suresh Prabhu's Twitter account)

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