Defence Minister AK Antony on Sunday termed as a "cruel joke" US President George W Bush's contention that growing demand for foodgrains in India was the reason for spiralling global food prices.
Largescale conversion of agriculture land for commercial and bio-fuel cultivation purposes have resulted in food shortage at the global level, Antony told reporters here.
"Policies of USA were also responsible for foodgrain shortage," he said. Those who criticise should not set apart agriculture land for other purposes. The countries, including America, should rectify their mistakes, he said.
It was true that production of rice and wheat have come down in the country resulting in shortage of these items,
Antony said on the sidelines of a convention.