UN's agricultural development agency chief reverses stand supporting India on WTO

IFAD president Nwanze says he was misquoted by media and only supported India's food security law

By Jitendra
Published: Monday 11 August 2014

Nwanze with founder and chief mentor of MSSRF, M S Swaminathan, in Chennai at the Asia Pacific regional consultation on role of family farming in hunger alleviation

Kanayo F Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialised agency of the UN which finances agricultural development projects in developing nations, has reversed his earlier stand supporting India for opposing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

India had vetoed TFA in Geneva over its food security concerns and need to stockpile foodgrains for its poor which it feared would get affected by the pact. Nwanze, during his visit to India, was widely reported by media on his support to India's stand at WTO (see 'India's WTO stand gets support of UN agricultural development agency chief').
Now he says he was misquoted by media. Responding to a question from Down To Earth at an event organised by M S Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, Nwanze said: "I have not said what is being reported in media. IFAD has no position on WTO. IFAD is financial institution which supports farming projects. I have supported the way India has ensured its people food security," he said.
Nwanze was attending a four day Asia Pacific regional consultation organised by MSSRF on the theme, "role of family farming in the 21st century:achieve zero hunger challenge by 2025".

When asked for his reaction, Swaminathan said "the stand of Western countries are biased against poor countries." Ever since India vetoes the agreement in Geneva, it has been roundly criticised by the West for opposing the “major trade reform”. The NDA government led by Narendra Modi has, however, been firm about protecting the food security of the poor people. 

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