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Rediff.com  » Business » South Africa supports India's stand on food security at WTO

South Africa supports India's stand on food security at WTO

December 06, 2013 14:37 IST

A childSupporting India's stand on food security at the WTO meeting, South Africa on Friday said such programmes should be allowed to continue as they were important for millions of deprived people and poor farmers in developing nations.

". . .public food stock programme are important for millions of low income people of developing countries. . .these programmes should be allowed to continue.

"They are vital part of food security," South African Trade Minister Rob Davies told PTI on the sidelines of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali.

He further said that ongoing consultations at the WTO were focussed on the food security matter.

Davies also said the balance of the Bali package should be stuck in favour of poor farmers and people.

Observing that current Bali package, which is on the table, is not balanced, Davies said, "Our proposal is that this conference should give a political direction to the post-Bali process."

He said that India, Brazil and South Africa was working towards a solution on the matter.

On reports which blame India for standstill at the WTO, he said: ". . .that kind of language is not helpful.

“It is not just India that has issue, there are several African countries who have similar programmes, so it is not just India's."

Developed countries such as the US and the European Union are asking India to accept a peace clause, which offers four years of immunity against penalties imposed for breaching the farm subsidy cap of 10 per cent under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.

Hosts Indonesia share their view.

India and other developing nations, on the other hand, want the peace clause until a permanent solution is found on the matter for smooth implementation of the food security programme.

Rajesh Rai in Bali
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