Nigerian Government Restates Commitment to Address Difficulties in Food Production
The Federal Government has restated the need for countries with emerging economies to address difficulties in food production to improve the livelihood of people.
The Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, stated this at the 12th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC 12) held in Geneva, Switzerland.
A statement issued by the Director of Information in the ministry, Mrs Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, in Abuja revealed that Katagum reiterated Nigeria’s position on agricultural trade reforms, especially with respect to the key areas of Domestic Support, Market Access, Public StockHolding for Food Security (PSH).
The statement read, “Discussions on WTO reform need to adhere to the principles of transparency, inclusiveness, fairness and equity within the balance of the rights and obligations of all members under the covered agreements. Member states should ensure that any future discussions on reform should focus on reaffirming and strengthening the multilateral character of the WTO. As part of the conference’s outcome documents, a total of (ten) Ministerial Decisions and Declarations were adopted by the Trade Ministers at MC12. Seven of them including the MC12 outcome document were considered and adopted by the MC12, while three (3) were considered by the General Council (GC) and brought forward to MC for adoption by the Ministers. “History was made at the WTO 12th Ministerial Conference with the adoption of the 20 years outstanding agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. “Other decisions and declarations adopted at MC 12 included, Ministerial Decision on the TRIPS Agreement, Ministerial Declaration on the Emergency waiver response to food insecurity, Ministerial Decision on World Food Programme, Food purchases Exemption from Export Prohibitions or Restrictions, Ministerial Declaration on the WTO response to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparedness for future pandemics.”
Also, speaking on some key decisions at the MC 12, Katagum noted that it was agreed that no member shall grant or maintain any subsidy to a vessel or operator engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing or fishing related activities in support of the sector.
On emergency response to food insecurity, she said the ministerial conference agreed that trade and domestic production plays a vital role in improving global food security in all dimensions as well as enhancing nutrition.
Furthermore, Katagum noted that the conference would take concrete steps in facilitating trade and improving the functioning and long-term resilience of the global market for food and agriculture including cereals, fertilisers and other agricultural production inputs, adding that particular consideration would be given to specific needs and circumstances of developing countries.