Food safety at risk: India bans wheat exports

The war in Ukraine is jeopardizing the global wheat supply.

Food safety at risk: India bans wheat exports

The war in Ukraine is jeopardizing the global wheat supply. The second largest producer, India, therefore only recently announced that it would export more grain in the future. Now, however, the government is making a U-turn and banning the sale of wheat abroad.

The world's second largest wheat producer, India, has banned the export of the grain with immediate effect. The decision came amid sudden surges in global wheat prices, threatening India's food security, the country's export authority said late Friday night.

Only recently, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other representatives of the Indian government announced that they would help in the wake of the Ukraine war in view of an imminent shortage of wheat on the world market and export significantly more wheat. Ukraine and Russia are both major wheat exporters. Most recently, there were delivery bottlenecks and price increases due to the war.

Indian wheat exporters have had export deals with countries like Egypt and Turkey since the war began, said Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority chief Tarun Bajaj. But then the current extreme heat in India intervened. This reduces the wheat harvest by almost six percent, according to the Department of Food

India produces the second most wheat after China - around 100 million tons per year. So far, the country has hardly exported any of it. With more than 1.3 billion people, the second most populous country needs a lot of wheat itself. The government buys in large quantities in order to supply the poor population in the country, among other things. Until now, farmers have had little incentive to sell to exporters because the government paid them a subsidized price that was higher than the world market price at the time.


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