Rush for bio-fuels causing food crisis: minister

May 9th, 2008 - 7:34 am ICT by admin  

Mumbai, May 8 (IANS) One of the primary reasons behind the global food crisis is the diversion of food grain to create bio-fuels, said Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma. Addressing a gathering of corporate honchos organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) here Thursday, the minister said it was erroneous to consider that the rise in consumption in some nations has led to the shortage in food.

Taking a dig at the recent remarks by US President George Bush, Sharma said: “In fact, the primary reason behind the current crisis in the food sector lies in the rush to create bio-fuel in the developed nations. In fact, several of these nations in their haste to create bio-fuel even provide subsidies for growing and cultivating corn and several cereals which ironically are staple diet in many nations.”

“Of course, it would be wrong to reduce the crisis to one factor only. In order to understand this complex problem one also will have to look into the economics of oil and other related sectors which play pivotal roles in today’s political economy,” he added.

He also said: “Unlike in the past, the foreign policies have to incorporate the economic policies as well as look into aspects like climate degradation, energy security and food security.”

“We have expressed our consternation to China on the Tibet issue and on border issue. But on the other hand, we have been encouraging the bilateral trade between the two nations.”

“It is precisely for this reason that several nations from Asia, Latin America and Africa have come together to create a conducive atmosphere in the United Nations (UN) in order to make it more democratic and all encompassing so that more nations can join. This effort is being led by India and the Indian government has time and again made its stand clear that it does not support some nations use the veto power,” Sharma added.

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