BRIC Ministers Reach Agreement On Promoting Global Food Security

Brazil, Russia, India and China, collectively known as BRIC, have reached an agreement to promote global food security, the Moscow Times reports (Anishyuk, 3/29).

Meeting in Moscow on Friday, Brazil Agrarian Development Minister Guilherme Cassel, Russian Agriculture Minister Elena Skrynnik, Indian Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Chinese Agriculture Minister Han Changfu “said that they … resolved to address the problem of food production and hunger without delay in a comprehensive manner through resolute action by governments and relevant international agencies,” ANI/oneindia reports.

A joint statement from the ministers said, “Reiterating our support to the initiatives taken at international level such as World Food Summit in Rome, we intend to develop effective and comprehensive measures for development of agriculture in BRIC countries through close cooperation and coordination in the field of agriculture and allied activities,” according to ANI (3/26).

Together BRIC produces “40 percent of the world’s wheat, half of its pork and a third of its poultry and beef. The four countries’ combined gross domestic product was equal to 22.4 percent of the global total in 2008,” Reuters reports. Forty-two percent of the world’s population lives in BRIC countries and together “they have a third of the world’s arable land,” according to the news service (Budrys, 3/26).

Xinhua reports that the declaration issued by BRIC spelled out four cooperation points. “The areas include establishing the information exchange system, sharing experience on agriculture and food stock, reducing impact of climate change on agriculture, and developing agricultural technology and innovation, it said. In addition, the ministers called on the international society, especially the developed countries, to support developing countries with capital and advanced environment-friendly technologies, so as to help them realize the sustainable development of agriculture, said the declaration,” the news service reports (3/27).

According to the Moscow Times, the agreement stated: “In order to promote food security, it is necessary to have a well-functioning, worldwide food market and a trade system based on the principles of justice and freedom from discrimination. Therefore speeding up the accomplishment of the WTO Doha round of talks is a primary task” (3/29).

“I feel that BRIC has huge potential for cooperation in combating hunger and ensuring food security through coordinated approaches in modernising farming and inducting environment-friendly technologies,” Pawar said,  Press Trust of India reports (3/27).

According to Xinhua, the next meeting of BRIC agriculture ministers is scheduled for 2011 (3/28).

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