Pakistan demands level playing in agriculture trade

ISLAMABAD: Stressing the need for creating a level playing field in trade of agriculture products, Federal Secretary Commerce, Mohammad You nus Dagha Tuesday said that millions of poor farmers expect a fair deal from global trading system.

Addressing the WTO Ministers meeting in Marrakech, he strongly emphasized the importance of

creating a level playing field in the area of agriculture products’ trade, according to a statement received here Tuesday.

Dagha raised this point in the meeting of Cairns Group Ministers, which met on the sidelines of WTO ministers huddle in Marrakech. Cairns Group is WTO coalition of like minded countries demanding reform of agriculture subsidies.

Dagha underscored the point that trade distorting subsidies of the developed countries were tilting the

terms of trade drastically against the poor farmers of the developing countries, the statement added.

He also informed that huge amounts of domestic support in large agriculture producing countries and their Public stock holding also affected the small farmers by taking away the market share and depressing international prices for their products.

Countries frequently veil their programmes of public stock-holding as food security initiatives which

hurt other developing countries and agriculture producers in the international market.

Secretary Commerce is leading Pakistan Delegation to a crucial WTO meeting in Morocco

which is finalizing strategy for the forth coming Ministerial meeting in Bunes Aires to Geneva.

Dagha also met Chinese Trade Minister, Director General WTO Roberto Azevado Ministers of Norway, Nigeria,

Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and delegations of Chile, Turkey, United States, Argentina and Costa Rica and discussed issues of mutual economic interest.