April 13, 2022


India's record wheat harvest could meet worldwide demand



Sudhanshu Pandey, senior civil servant at the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, said India's bumper wheat harvest this season will help the country meet demand from the world's top buyers for the grain after supplies from the Black Sea Region were disrupted due to Russia's invasion into Ukraine, The Economic Times reported.


India, the second biggest wheat producer in the world, reported production this year at 111.32 million tonnes, a new record and the sixth season of surplus for the country.


The Indian government usually buys wheat from domestic farmers to operate a welfare programme for the poor. They purchased 43.34 million tonnes of wheat in 2021.


But government purchases are likely to be lower this year as private traders are offering high prices for the wheat compared to the government's INR 20,150 (~US$265.35; INR 10 = US$0.13) a tonne.


Pandey said the government will purchase the minimum required wheat for the welfare programme (25 million tonnes) and the rest will be available for export overseas, adding that the government is happy to see farmers receiving attractive prices from private traders.


He said there was 19 million tonnes of wheat in government warehouses on April 1, higher than a targeted 7.46 million tonnes.


He also said the government has encouraged wheat exports by calling on port and railway authorities to prioritise outbound wheat shipments. 


India exported 7.85 million tonnes of wheat in the fiscal year to March, a record high. In the previous year, the country exported 2.1 million tonnes of wheat.


-      The Economic Times

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