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Industry body sets up task force on food


Chennai : The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) announced Sunday it was setting up a task force on food to look into the soaring prices of food items in the country.

CII said in a statement issued here that the rising food prices were a matter of concern and “a global platform for dialogue and action to manage the (food) crisis” and an “immediate global response” were required.

The Indian industry’s response came a day after the US said India’s growing middle class fuelled greater demand for food.

According to CII, the task force will look into improving productivity, encouraging private sector participation in distribution of food, and support second generation of bio-fuels which do not eat into food stocks.

“The entire issue of food prices needs to be seen in a global perspective and not just as an issue emanating from specific countries,” CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said in the statement.

“There is need for greater flow of global information on food production and consumption, and cuts in food wastage,” he added.

“We are setting up a task force to look into this area,” Banerjee said.

CII is of the view that the current crisis has been created due to several reasons.

The main factors for the crisis “include diversion of food to bio-fuels, changing weather conditions across the globe leading to droughts which mean lower food production in several countries, and huge agricultural subsidies which encourage leaving agricultural land fallow to maintain global prices of agricultural products,” CII said.

The crisis should trigger a global discussion to build stronger information networks on consumption and production so that corrective measures can be taken across the globe to avert such a crisis, the statement said.