India appears to have failed to deliver on its earlier promise to become a major grain exporter. Sources told the news agency that the country will consider importing grain due to disappointing crops Reuters.
Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India was ready to “feed the world”. Just four months later, the opposite seems to be true.
Due to the unprecedented heat wave that hit India this spring, the grain harvest was less than expected. Due to reduced production, prices increased domestically. This made everyday life more expensive for hundreds of millions of Indians. They use the grains to make basic foods like naan and chapati.
After the first indications that the wheat crop would be smaller than previously estimated, grain exports were already limited. The state’s reserves fell to their lowest level in 14 years in August.
The consumer price of wheat increased by 12%
Wheat became 12 percent more expensive for consumers. With looming shortages and rising prices, the authorities are now preparing to buy wheat from elsewhere.
Government officials are currently in talks about reducing or eliminating the 40 percent wheat import tax. This would help flour manufacturers in certain regions to import grain.
India’s Food Ministry said on Twitter on Sunday that there are no plans for grain imports. According to the ministry, there is also sufficient stock.
India has never before been a major grain exporter
Although India is the second largest wheat producer in the world, it has not been a major exporter of wheat. Nor did the country import much. India was practically self-sufficient.
The authorities now estimate that the 2021/2022 crop will be around 107 million tons. In February this was still an estimated 111 million tons. This new estimate may be a bit overly optimistic, with traders and flour manufacturers expecting a return of 98 million to 102 million tons.
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