France Eyes Release of Grain Stock By China, India


The food security initiative had the backing of the G7 and will now be discussed with G20 nations, including China and India

 

France wants countries with surplus grain stocks to consider releasing supplies as part of a plan to shield poorer countries from the impact of the war in Ukraine on food staples, a French official said on Thursday.

The food security initiative had the backing of the G7 and will now be discussed with G20 nations including China and India, which have among the largest grain stocks in the world, the official said.

The subject will be raised with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during an EU-China summit on Friday, and will also be discussed at a special meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on April 8, the official added.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced the initiative, called “FARM”, last week at a meeting of G7 countries held to discuss the month-old Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted grain trade and sent crop prices soaring.

To bolster grain supplies for import-reliant developing countries, France wanted to “launch a discussion among exporters … to potentially increase their production or mobilise large existing stocks,” the official at France’s presidential office told reporters.

France, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, sees the United Nations’ World Food Programme and the FAO helping to coordinate the allocation of extra supplies to countries facing urgent needs, the official said.

The French government has joined international institutions in warning of a possible food crisis in developing countries in the year ahead if the Ukraine conflict drags on and causes lasting disruption to crop production and exports.

India has already increased its exports of wheat in recent months and has held talks about supplying countries like Egypt and Lebanon that usually source most of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia.

 

  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell

 

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.