India may import wheat in blow to Modi’s vision of feeding the world
Prime Minister Narendra Modi boldly declared that his country was ready to “feed the world” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Less than four months later, the government needs to consider grain imports.
Even before Modi made his pledge, a record-breaking heat wave that started in March was threatening Indian wheat output. That cut production and pushed up local prices, making everyday life more expensive for hundreds of millions of Indians that use the grain to make staple foods like naan and chappatis.
Indications that a bumper wheat harvest wasn’t going to eventuate prompted the government to restrict exports in mid-May. State reserves have declined in August to the lowest level for the month in 14 years, according to Food Corp. of India, while consumer wheat inflation is running at close to 12%.
India has no plan to import wheat as sufficient stock ready to meet local demand, government says
India’s food and public distribution department today said it has enough stock of wheat and denied a media report that said the world’s second-biggest wheat producer is planning to start importing the staple foodgrain.
“There is no such plan to import wheat into India. Country has sufficient stocks to meet our domestic requirements and FCI has enough stock for pubic distribution,” the Department of Food & Public Distribution wrote in a reply to the news item on Twitter.
According to the fourth advance estimate of production of major agricultural crops released by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, production of wheat during 2021-22 is estimated at 106.84 million tonnes, as against the reported earlier estimate of 111 million tonnes.
Paddy sowing continues to lag, acreage down by 8.25 per cent till August 18
Paddy sowing continues to lag as area under the key kharif crop was lower by 8.25 per cent at 343.70 lakh hectare till last week of the ongoing kharif season, according to the agriculture ministry.
Area sown to pulses and oilseeds also remained slightly lower, while the overall area covered under all kharif crops showed a lag of 25.52 lakh hectare at 1012.99 lakh hectare till August 18 of the 2022-23 kharif season, it said.
Paddy is the main kharif crop, sowing of which begins with the onset of southwest monsoon in June. Over 80 per cent of the country’s total rice production comes from the kharif season.
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