G8 leaders agree on joint efforts to fight growth in food prices

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Leaders of the G8 group of industrialized nations have agreed at a summit in Japan on joint efforts to fight a growth in global food prices, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.
TOYAKO (Hokkaido), July 8 (RIA Novosti) - Leaders of the G8 group of industrialized nations have agreed at a summit in Japan on joint efforts to fight a growth in global food prices, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.

G8 leaders, currently meeting in a luxury resort on northern Japan's Hokkaido Island, face the challenge of global food price hikes caused by poor harvests, reductions in cultivable areas in favor of bio-fuel production, and high fuel prices.

"We still need to finally determine the key factor behind hikes in food prices, however the problems are well-known and we have agreed to jointly exert an influence on all these factors," Medvedev said.

Russia's president also proposed on Tuesday that G8 countries hold 'grain summits' to discuss policy and pricing.

"We need a new format within the G8 - meetings of agriculture ministries and a 'grain summit,'" Dmitry Medvedev said following a G8 meeting which focused on the global economy amid soaring oil and food prices. "Pricing policies and stabilization measures would be discussed there."

Meanwhile, a high-ranking Russian diplomat said that Russia would not restrict food exports despite hikes in food prices.

"We have no intention to restrict our exports. Until July 1, prohibitive export grain duties were in effect due to a desire to analyze the pricing situation on the world market," Alexander Pankin, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's department for international organizations, said.

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