Special Correspondent

VIJAYAWADA: The All India Kisan Sabha has demanded that agricultural subsidies be increased by 10 per cent to bail out farmers from the severe crisis they are facing.

Kisan Sabha vice-president Kolli Nageswara Rao, addressing a press conference here on Thursday, said that the United States had never bothered to reduce agricultural subsidies though it was told to do so by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in all its review meetings since 1999.

Review meet

The same was repeated at the recent WTO review meeting held at Geneva from July 21 to 23.

He said there was scope for the US to reduce agricultural subsidies by 75 to 85 per cent. Eighty per cent of the agricultural subsidies being extended by developed countries were either in the green or blue boxes, while those of the developing countries were either in yellow or red boxes.

Giving subsidy to agricultural farmers in the United States was like the discount sale business, where the retail prices were hiked deliberately so that the customer could be given a concession, Mr. Nageswara Rao said.

The Kisan Sabha was, therefore, demanding that the United States reduce its agricultural subsidies and agricultural subsidies to farmers in the country be increased by 10 per cent.