India's grain mountain grows despite push for exports
The government has so far given permission for 4.5 million tonnes of wheat exports from state storage in 2012/2013. It will likely raise that to 6 million tonnes but beyond that the permits may be no more than a paper solution as there is no real capacity to ship more out unless the bureaucrats push for wheat to have priority over rice exports.
A food ministry official, who declined to be identified, said his ministry was pressing the cabinet to allow India to export as much as possible while prices are firm.
RISK FROM PESTS
India's grain stockpile has grown rapidly over recent years, thanks to near-perfect weather and the government's commitment to buy the entire quantity of wheat and rice brought to market in a bid to support farmers.
Wheat stocks alone will be about 64 million tonnes in June, 16 times the state target for the time of year, said two government sources responsible for grain purchases and storage who declined to be identified as they are not authorised to speak to the media.
As India gears up to buy a record 44 million tonnes of wheat from the latest harvest, the Food Corporation of India has been building platforms of wood and cement for storage. These are no match for purpose built grains warehouses and silos and leave supplies exposed to rodents and the weather.
In previous years, images of rotting grains in faded bags has stoked stinging criticism
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