The BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China — have agreed to extend their cooperation to agriculture to promote global food security.
At their first meeting in Moscow on Friday, Agriculture Ministers of the BRIC countries have adopted a Moscow Declaration where they identified four areas for quadripartite cooperation.
First, they decided to set up a common database of production and consumption of farm products in their respective countries to facilitate comprehensive analysis of food security and coordinate formation of national grain reserves.
Second, the four countries will jointly draw up a BRIC food security strategy for vulnerable sections of the population and share experience in providing food for the poor.
Third, BRIC will pull their efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change on food security and adapt farming to the changing climate. The four farm Ministers have called on the developed countries to extend technological and financial assistance to developing nations to promote sustainable growth and counter climate change.
Fourth, the BRIC countries will promote cooperation and exchanges in farm technology and innovation.
To implement the agreed programme the four countries will set up an expert-level working group that will meet and interact through video conferences on a regular basis.
In his address at the meeting Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar urged the BRIC nations to jointly tackle the problem of increasing productivity in food grains. He proposed setting up a separate working group of experts in farm research.
Mr. Pawar said the four Ministers discussed ways of creating synergy between India and China, which have the world's largest populations, on the one hand, and Russia and Brazil, which have the world's largest unused landmasses, on the other.
Russia's Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik said it was “quite possible” for Russia to use the manpower, financial and technological resources of the other BRIC nations to bring back into cultivation tens of millions of Russian farmland going fallow after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The meeting was held in the run-up to the second BRIC summit in Brazil next month. The first summit of the group was held in Russia last year.