U.S. says does not support strategic grains stocks idea

ROME Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:16am EDT

ROME Oct 16 (Reuters) - The United States does not support the idea of creating strategic grains stocks to tame volatile food prices, a U.S. representative told a ministerial meeting on the food market situation at the United Nations' food agency on Tuesday.

"The United States generally opposes the creation of regional or global food reserve systems to manage price volatility," U.S. ambassador to the United Nations agencies in Rome David Lane told the meeting at the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

"The fiscal, logistical and governance costs of regional reserves are considerable and could divert limited and valuble resources away from sustainable solutions, such as targeted support to producers, safety nets for poor consumers and increased investment in transportation and distribution infrastructure." he said.

He warned that stocks can also encourage hoarding and corruption in the food system and can create uncertainty in markets due to the unpredictable timing and size of the release of stocks.

France's agriculture minister had told Reuters in an interview on Monday he did not expect to reach a deal in the short term on France's strategic stocks proposal due to scant international support but said that he would keep pushing for the idea.

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