In the face of rising grain prices, the G7 is calling for free markets – India’s export ban came at the wrong time. Minister Ozdemir finds clear words.
Stuttgart – Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (The Greens) spoke in favor of open markets and criticized the Indian wheat export ban.
“We all have a responsibility to the rest of the world, especially the major export countries,” Ozdemir said in Stuttgart after the meeting with his counterparts from the Group of Seven major industrialized nations. “I am very critical of that,” he said, referring to New Delhi’s decision.
According to the will of the department heads, the heads of state and government of the Group of Seven should discuss this issue now, Ozdemir reported. India will be a guest at the summit to be held in Schloss Elmau in Bavaria at the end of June. Germany currently leads the group of countries. International grain markets are especially tense due to the Russo-Ukrainian war, and prices are rising. Poor countries that depend on imports are especially threatened by prosperity.
G7 is basically against export ban
According to host Ozdemir, the G7 is generally against the export ban. “We advocate keeping markets open.” India, the world’s second largest wheat producer, had earlier announced that it would ban the export of grains with immediate effect. The decision was made in light of rising global wheat prices, which New Delhi sees as a threat to India’s food security.
According to Özdemir, the G7 wants to monitor production and food prices more closely than before, such as fertilizers. To this end, the agricultural information system of the Group of 20 industrialized and emerging countries should be strengthened.
“There should be no excessive hoarding of agricultural products in individual countries – this lacks solidarity and leads to further price increases,” Özdemir said. In addition to Germany, the G7 includes the USA, Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy and Japan.
Food security, climate protection and biodiversity
In his own words, Özdemir sees a “tailwind” among the ranks of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations regarding his agricultural policy. The group agreed that food security, climate protection and biodiversity conservation can only be achieved in the form of a triad.
The war in Ukraine has increased pressure on global food systems, summarized the head of the Berlin department. After a discussion with their Ukrainian counterpart Mykola Solsky, the ministers on Friday promised assistance. Among other things, it concerns grain exports from the war-torn country. “Putin’s war is increasing hunger in the world,” Ozdemir said, referring to Kremlin President Vladimir Putin.
The Group of Seven is now studying alternatives to shipping grain from Ukraine to break the Russian blockade. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) said Saturday at the end of the G7 meeting near the Weißenhäuser Strand on the line that after there were rail transport problems through Romania due to different rail widths, exports through the Baltic ports were checked. Baltic Sea.
Ukraine banned grain exports
The G7 called on Russia to end the embargo on Ukraine’s grain exports. A statement adopted at the foreign ministers’ meeting said Russia’s baseless war in Ukraine has worsened the global economic outlook with rising food, fuel and energy prices. About 43 million people are one step away from starvation. There is a risk of food insecurity and malnutrition.
The G7’s top meeting of agriculture ministers was moved to a hotel in Stuttgart on Saturday for security reasons. A police spokeswoman said there were concerns that the course of the event at Hohenheim Castle in the south of the city could be disrupted. Özdemir later confirmed the move and justified it with protests from animal rights activists and farmers. According to the police, there was a demonstration of farmers with about twenty tractors near Hohenheim Castle.
The meeting began Friday at Hohenheim Castle, which houses parts of the University of Hohenheim. The spacious palace complex is located in a college and park area, which were largely accessible to visitors even during the start of the conference.