The Chinese delegation said investment was top priority in addressing market volatility and food security, at a G20 agriculture ministers meeting here Thursday.
The G20 should reach consensus over soaring food prices and adopt active measures to address it on the basis of impartial analysis of the source of increasing prices, Chinese Agriculture Minister Han Changfu said during the meeting, the first time G20 members have specifically targeted agricultural problems.
The Chinese minister said reasons for increasing food prices included natural disasters, structural change to demand, international speculation, faster flows on a global level and the accelerated development of biofuels.
At the two-day meeting, the agriculture ministers reached agreement on a common action plan, which will be submitted to G20 leaders at their summit in November.
Recognizing the importance of the "Action Plan on food price volatility and agriculture", Han laid out four suggestions concerning food security and market stability, according to a statement received by Xinhua.
He said, first of all, G20 members needed to increase agricultural investment, enhance scientific and technological levels in agricultural production, reduce the impact of natural disasters, develop biofuels cautiously and promote global food production, especially the ability of emerging countries.
Secondly, he said members should restrain international speculative actions targeting large farming commodities, notably wheat, and tighten regulations for capital flow and financial derivative markets.
Thirdly, the international community, especially developed nations, needed to adopt prompt and effective measures to help vulnerable groups in the poorest countries to address food problems.
Fourthly, he said advanced countries were required to take responsible macroeconomic policies to avoid the negative effect of those policies.
The ministers reached agreement around midnight Wednesday, a source close to Chinese delegation told Xinhua. "China sees the final declaration in line with its interests, otherwise it won''t agree with it," the source said.
During the closed-door negotiations, Han outlined China''s agriculture policy, saying the government attached high importance to farming and foodstuff issues while persisting in the strategy of being self-sufficient.
Since rising food prices had a social impact and led to political unrest in some countries, it was not just an economic problem but a social and political problem, Han said in the statement.
In order to increase food production and enhance the comprehensive farming capacity, the Chinese government had been working continuously to raise investment, advance farming and irrigation facilities, and step up agriculture-related technology innovation, Han said.
(Source from China Daily)