UNFAO warning just a scare: Mr Devinder Sharma

Recent warning by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations (UNFAO) that Ebola escalation could a trigger major food crisis might not really affect India, the noted food policy analyst, Mr Devinder Sharma told BioSpectrum's Rahul Koul


Mr Devinder Sharma is a distinguished food and trade policy analyst.

Q: What kind of effect will Ebola have on food security globally and how important is UNFAO's warning in this regard?

The global warning by FAO on food security is nothing more than a scare. There is no evidence that Ebola outbreak will impact food production globally. In fact, at a time when there is a supply glut globally and prices have crashed after a 10-year hike that has been witnessed, there is no threat from Ebola that even food importing countries need to be worried about.

Q: Would there be any direct impact on India in terms of food security due to Ebola?

No. There is no direct impact on India as far as its food security needs are concerned. Already, India is saddled with huge carryover stocks of wheat, rice and sugar. We do not import staple food and therefore there is no reason fr any alarm.

Q: Whether India really can ignore food security threats as its imports from Europe, US and Africa might get affected due to global shortage?

As I said earlier, the threat on food security is limited to only three countries -- Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In any case, these countries were food importing and their imports might increase now. But for the rest pf the world there is nothing to worry.


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