Sugarcane farmers flag Brazil’s case against India in WTO

Sugarcane farmers flag Brazil’s case against India in WTO

PM urged to raise issue with Brazil President Bolsonaro.

Several farmers groups have demanded that the government push Brazil to withdraw its complaint against India’s sugar pricing policies at the World Trade Organisation. The demand comes just ahead of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s arrival in Delhi on Friday as chief guest of the Republic Day celebrations.

Brazil has said it is open to finding a “non-litiguous solution” to the dispute, adding that the issue would not affect bilateral collaborations on biofuels derived from sugarcane.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM) noted that “the Brazilian government, under the leadership of Mr. Bolsonaro is directly threatening the livelihoods of five crore Indian sugarcane farmers” by challenging the minimum price for sugarcane set by the Indian government.

“The irony of the whole situation is that the Indian government only announces Fair and Remunerative Prices (FRP) to be paid by the sugar mills to farmers,” said General Secretary of the Bhartiya Kisan Union Yudhvir Singh, who is also convenor of the ICCFM.

Asked about the dispute, Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo told The Hindu his country remains open “to find a satisfactory, non-litigious solution to the matter, addressing our concerns as well as India’s development goals.”

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