Export restrictions on agri goods harmful for the world

Press Trust of India, October 30, 2008

Growing food demand may force countries to impose export restrictions on agricultural produce to facilitate supplies to domestic consumers, which would have harmful repercussions on the rest of the world, a report said.

“In short run exporters in restricting countries might curb supplies through hoarding and greater reliance on futures contracts and in the long run they might decide to shift to other crops,” a latest report of the Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) said.

In both the cases, it said, the intention of the restricting agencies might be frustrating.

The report further pointed that export restrictions might prove disastrous for the importing nations. Citing an example, it said, in 2007 India had banned the export of non-basmati rice which led to steep rice in prices.

Philippines, imported rice for the first time in 2008 at $700 per tonne and found it even tougher for the second consignment at $ 1,200 per tonne, it added.

The high price caused heavy losses for the world economy and the consumer loss due to rice export ban imposed by India stood at $ 305 billion, it added.

The report suggested that attempts to augment supplies like formation of cooperatives by farmers in the developing countries and their going public to attract funds for agricultural infrastructure from developed nations might be the best solutions.

This news item can also be viewed at: