WTO: India likely to lodge its protest over draft text on agri

Thursday, Dec 17, 2015,16:36 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Nairobi | India is expected to express its disappointment over the language of the draft text on agriculture as it has not clearly mentioned key issues of giving protection to poor farmers and public stockholding for food security purposes, sources said.

India may raise its objections at the meeting of the agriculture group being chaired by Lesotho, an African country.

The WTO ministerial meeting is being attended by Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other officials. The first draft text on agricultural issues is being circulated to all the members and has poorly mentioned the issues that are key to developing countries, including India, they said.

On the other hand, the text has dwelt at length on export competition, an issue being pushed by the developed and a few developing countries like Brazil.

This draft is currently under discussion by all the members. India is pushing for special safeguard mechanism (SSM), which will help provide support to farmers during sudden surge of imports or any drop in global commodity prices.

The country is also demanding an early permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding on food security. Both the matters are crucial for several other developing countries as well.

Developed countries, on the other hand, want emerging nations like India to make greater commitments on phasing out export support.