The BRIC grouping has a huge potential in combating hunger and ensuring global food security, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said in Moscow on Saturday.
"I feel that BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) 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 at the end of his three-day visit to the Russian capital during which he attended the maiden session of the BRIC agriculture ministers.
The summit of the leaders of the four fastest emerging economies on April 16 in Brazil will be briefed on the outcome of the first-ever meeting of the farm ministers.
Pawar said the experts group set up by the BRIC farm ministers yesterday to help combat hunger and climate change will comprise the heads of the relevant institutes of the four-nation informal grouping.
According to Pawar, the BRIC farm ministers experts group would be regularly meeting to implement the guidelines and priority areas of their cooperation laid down in the joint declaration, which include creation of information database, development of a general strategy to ensure access to food for the most vulnerable sections of the population.
The experts group would also evolve comprehensive adaptive measures to mitigate the negative impact of climate change on food security and adaptation of agriculture to climatic changes and will prepare specific proposals for BRIC farm ministers at their next meeting in 2011 likely in China, he said.
Pawar also had bilateral meetings with his Russian and Chinese counterparts Elena Skrynnik and Han Changfu, respectively. "During the very fruitful meeting with the Russian agriculture minister, we discussed the possibility of cooperation in the farming sector, including research. We have agreed to look into the possibility of signing a working plan in agriculture, the draft of which was handed over to Russia in 2000," Pawar said, addng however, no concrete projects were discussed with the Russian minister during the meeting.
"They have offered to sell wheat to us, but due to large buffer stock this year we are not planning to import it," he said, adding the country could import pulses and oilseeds.
During his meeting with the Chinese minister, the two sides agreed to discuss the issue of regular exchange of information and researchers. "Both countries have identical goals of achieving self-sufficiency in food and this provides for a good ground for bilateral cooperation. Especially in view of climate change, the two countries could work together in developing draught-resistant crops," Pawar said.