Business

G-33 nations urge WTO members to find a permanent solution to public stockholding issue

Governments use the public stockholding programme to procure, store and distribute food grains to the poor.  Representational

Governments use the public stockholding programme to procure, store and distribute food grains to the poor. Representative | Photo Credit: SRINATH M

The G-33 group of countries on February 25expressed serious concern over the lack of progress in agriculture trade negotiations and urged the members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to work on a permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding of grains for food security purposes.

The G-33 group includes 47 developing and least developed countries.

In a joint statement, the group also said that it is the right of the developing country to use the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) as an important instrument against major import surges or sudden price declines. The members should agree and adopt a decision on SSM by the 14th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC), it said.

Public stock holding of food is a critical issue

The statement has sought members to find a permanent solution for issues related to public stockholding in the 13th Ministerial Conference, which will begin on February 26 in Abu Dhabi. The MC is the highest decision-making body of the WTO.

“The G-33 co-sponsoring Members… urge all (WTO) Members to make all concerted efforts to agree and adopt a permanent solution on the issue (public stockholding),” the G-33 Ministerial Statement on Agriculture Trade Negotiations at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference said.

A vast majority of G-33 members recognise the critical importance of public stock holding for food security purposes for developing countries in meeting their food and livelihood security, as well as rural development imperative, including supporting low-income or resource-poor producers.

The public stockholding programme is a policy tool under which the government procures crops like rice and wheat from farmers at the minimum support price (MSP) and stores and distributes foodgrains to the poor.

#G33 #nations #urge #WTO #members #find #permanent #solution #public #stockholding #issue

Leave a Comment