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Current Affairs

Boosting wheat exports

Date: 20 April 2022 Tags: Agriculture

Issue

Wheat exports from Black Sea region countries such as Ukraine and Russia have been affected due to the ongoing conflict.

 

Background

Ukraine and Russia are both large wheat exporters and many African countries rely on exports for their survival.

 

Details

  • The shortage has affected food security in many countries, especially in west Asia and Africa. This shortage has opened new avenues for India to explore.

  • India currently has domestic surplus of the cereal and would want to take advantage of the situation. Egypt has already agreed to import the cereal from India.

 

India’s wheat exports

  • Russia is the largest wheat explorer with about 15% market share. Ukraine also is a significant exporter of the cereal.

  • India currently produced 112 million tonnes of wheat of which 24-26 million tonnes is required for government’s food security programmes.

  • The additional availability of the cereal has opened new opportunities for exports. Wheat exports are estimated to be 7.85 million tonnes this financial year.

 

Demand for Indian wheat

  • Competitive prices

  • Acceptable quality

  • Surplus availability

  • Geopolitical reasons

 

New markets for Indian wheat

  • Apart from Jordan and Egypt, India is in talks with east African countries to export wheat. Dossiers have been sent for starting the process.

  • The Pest Risk Analysis is being carried out by the countries so that export process can be started at the earliest.

 

Measures to boost exports

  • Paperwork has been readied for sanitary and phytosanitary applications so that shipments can start as early as possible.

  • Indian Railways has been utilized to transport wheat from growing areas to the ports. Testing labs have been set up to meet quality requirements.

 

Future aspects

  • If the geopolitical conditions and weather remains favourable, India can become a long term exporter of wheat to new destinations.

  • India has already established itself as a reliable exporter of wheat to countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The current opportunity may help future trade.