NATIONAL

‘U.S. consumes more cereals than India’

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: “The United States consumes more cereals including wheat, rice and maize than India.”

In answer to a question during his press conference on inflation, Convener of the Congress party’s National Media Committee Kapil Sibal quoted the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to say that while the projected growth in the consumption pattern of cereals in India was 2.17 per cent between 2006-07 and 2007-08, it was 11.81 per cent for the United States during the same period.

The average percentage increase globally was only 2.06 per cent.

Mr. Sibal was asked to comment on U.S. President George Bush’s recent observation that the rising prosperity of India’s middle class had led to higher food consumption in India causing global food shortages and price rise.

Mr. Sibal said the FAO estimated the cereal utilisation in India — with a population of over one billion — in 2006-07 at 193.1 million and projected at 197.3 million tonnes in 2007-08, an increase of mere 2.17 per cent.

In comparison the cereal utilisation in the U.S. — with an estimated population of nearly 300 million — was estimated at 277.6 million tonnes in 2006-07 and projected at 310.4 per cent in 2007-08, a change of 11.81 per cent.

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