No talks at cost of food security: India to international community

NEW DELHI: India on Monday ruled out any talks at the expense of food security and asked the global community to keep the interests of farmers, indigenous communities and tribal populations in mind while watching consider any amendments or adjustments to international treaties.
“All international forums (including WTO) must not forget that food is a fundamental right. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh said Tomar and also state India’s position on the sharing of plant seeds and genetic resources.
He spoke at the ninth session of the governing body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) here. The six-day conference will issue the ‘Delhi Declaration’ on plant genetic resource sharing and related issues on Saturday.
“India stands firm on its beliefs and actions towards its commitments to the multilateral agreement. However, unless we remove the division between North (developed countries) and Southern (developing countries), and according to the wishes of the treaty founders, we will not make any progress,” Tomar said.
ITPGRFA is a legally binding agreement signed during the 31st session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome in November 2001. It currently has 149 signatories, including India.
The treaty, in line with the Convention on Biological Diversity, aims to achieve food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, sharing by profiting from its use, as well as playing an important role in acknowledging the rights of farmers.
India is a strong supporter of sharing the wealth of genetic resources, stressing that conserving such resources is a “common responsibility of mankind”. The country also supports the sharing of plant genetic resources for research and sustainable use.

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