India, the world’s second-largest wheat producer, has banned grain exports, with some exceptions, in a move that could exacerbate a global shortage exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and exacerbate already dire predictions for global hunger.
war has Wheat production disrupted Main suppliers Ukraine and Russia. Battles and blockades in the Black Sea interrupted the movement of grain.and Bad harvest in Chinatogether with a heat wave in india And droughts in other countries, further hampering global supply.
India holds about 10 percent of the world’s grain reserves, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a large surplus stems from its massive subsidies to farmers. For months, it was seen as a country that could help make up for global supply shortages.
Commerce announces ban on wheat exports Notice The date, Friday, appears to be a departure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s earlier statement. The Indian leader told President Biden in April that the country was ready to supply the world from its reserves. He also urged domestic wheat producers to seize the opportunity, saying Indian officials and financial institutions should support exporters.
But agricultural experts say a persistent heatwave and rising temperatures could affect this year’s harvest, which could be a factor in the government’s change of course and export ban.
Wheat exports were immediately banned, with some exceptions, as a sudden surge in crop prices threatened India’s food security, the Commerce Ministry’s notice said on Friday. Limited exports will be allowed at the request of individual governments with fragile food supplies in their countries, the notice said.
The export ban could be a further blow to international organisations working to tackle the growing threat of widespread hunger. Another 47 million people could go hungry as the knock-on effects of the war exacerbate an existing crisis of sharply higher food prices and fertilizer shortages, the UN agency World Food Programme has warned.
In early May, the agency’s chief economist, Arif Husain, said it was in discussions with India to use its stockpiles to ease shortages. He also said the World Food Programme had urged countries not to impose export bans as they could raise prices and reduce supplies. “Hopefully countries are listening,” he said.
Ashok Gulati, a prominent Indian agricultural economist, said the ministry’s statement had a poor impact on India as it contradicted the government’s previous comments about its desire to supply wheat to countries in need.
“If there is a global surge, you can tame it by opening borders rather than closing them,” Mr Gulati said.
The move may also be unpopular among Indian farmers.
Ranbeer Singh Sirsa, a farmer in Punjab, said the ban could affect wheat farmers who have recently benefited from higher prices and demand.
“If the price wants to go up, let it settle at the international price,” Mr Searsa said. “Who are they protecting now at the expense of farmers?”