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India-US can jointly fight hunger menace: Clinton

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
July 19, 2009 19:24 IST
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United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday, that US and India can jointly fight the menaces of hunger and malnutrition. She was addressing mediapersons after her visit to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi. She was told about the research work that was being carried out by the scientist in various spheres of agriculture.

She recalled how India and United States began collaborating in the field of agriculture to feed the hungry.

"The G-8 countries have committed to spend $ 20 million,  as I feel that this should be our signature campaign. There has to be partnership from the private sector and I was pleased to see some of the businessmen wanting to know how they could invest in this sector. It was heartening to see that," Clinton said.

When asked why the Indian farmers have to pay higher price for seeds, which escalates the costs and bring down his earning, she remarked that a lot needs to be done to improve the storing facilities by the Indian government.

But that did not mean that the produce of the Indian farmers be subsidised, she added. She said she was aware of the suicides by the Indian farmers.

Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, who received Clinton at IARI, told that the deficiency of rain has come down from 56 to 27 percent this year.

"But the situation in Punjab, Western Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is not as good as we would like to be.

Pawar said that India and US should address issues like food security, bio-security, energy security and natural resources management.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi