India bans wheat exports citing threat to food security

New Delhi – India Wheat exports have been banned with immediate effect, citing risks to its food security, in part because of the war in Ukraine.

Soaring global wheat prices are threatening food security, the Foreign Trade Agency said in a notice published in the Government Gazette on Friday. India neighbors and fragile states.

A key objective is to control domestic price increases. Global wheat prices have risen more than 40 percent since the start of the year.

Before the war, Ukraine and Russia accounted for a third of global wheat and barley exports. Since the Russian invasion on February 24, Ukraine’s ports have been blocked and civilian infrastructure and granaries damaged.

Simultaneously, IndiaThe company’s own wheat harvest was hit by a record heatwave, hampering production.

Although it is the second largest wheat producer in the world, India consumes most of the wheat it produces. It has set a target of exporting 10 million tonnes of grain in 2022-23, hoping to take advantage of disruptions to global wheat supplies caused by the war and find new markets for its wheat in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Most of this will go to other developing countries, such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

In addition to the problem of weather affecting the harvest, IndiaThe distribution of free food to some 800 million people during the pandemic has strained the country’s own massive wheat stocks — a buffer against famine.

To balance supply and demand, the government needs about 25 million tonnes ($27.5 million) of wheat a year to implement a broad food benefit program that typically feeds more than 80 million people.

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