India seeks solution to public stockholding issue at WTO; says food security real concern

It emphasised that without a permanent solution on PSH, the most critical and long-pending mandated issue at the WTO, developing countries’ fight against hunger can’t be won.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.

NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday made a strong argument to finalise the permanent solution to public stockholding (PSH) and deliver this outcome at 13th Ministerial Conference of World Trade Organization at Abu Dhabi.

At the WTO negotiation session on agriculture on February 27, India said a permanent solution is long overdue as the issue has been pending for 11 years.

India argued that the focus should not be narrowed down to the trade interests of exporting countries only, the real concern is the food security and livelihood of people. It emphasised that without a permanent solution on PSH, the most critical and long-pending mandated issue at the WTO, developing countries’ fight against hunger can’t be won.

India highlighted that the significance this issue was so high that more than 80 countries representing more than 61% of the world’s population from the G33 group of countries, Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) and the African Groups have co-sponsored a proposal on this subject. Meanwhile, during the WTO negotiation session on fisheries subsidies, India reiterated its long-held positions that responsible and sustainable fisheries is a practice ingrained in the ethos and practices of India’s large and varied fishing community.

In that context, any comprehensive agreement on fisheries subsidies should keep in mind the interests and welfare of the fishing community that depends on the marine resources for their livelihood and sustenance.

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