India is exploring possibilities of wheat exports this fiscal to a clutch of countries. While it is in talks with Egypt and Turkey on the quantum of shipments and the quality standards, Nicaragua and Syria have shown interest in sourcing grain through a government-to-government (G2G) arrangement, according to official sources.
Syria and Nicaragua have requested for shipment of 0.3 million tonne (MT) and 0.1 MT of wheat respectively from India, the sources added.
The government will, meanwhile, send trade delegations to Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Algeria and Lebanon to start/scale up wheat exports to these countries.
In case of G2G grain exports, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) carries out the exports on behalf of the government.
Egypt, which is one of the world’s biggest importers of wheat, already agreed to source wheat from India. Egyptian authorities have put India as one of the origins for this strategic commodity. Wheat export to Egypt will commence soon.
“There is a significant demand for wheat from India in the global market and we will be extending all support to boost shipment,” M Angamuthu, chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), told FE.
India has exported a record 7 MT of wheat in 2021-22, which is valued at $ 2.05 billion. Out of the total shipment, around 50% of wheat was exported to Bangladesh last fiscal.
The ministry of commerce & industry has already set up a task force on wheat exports with representatives from various ministries, including commerce, shipping and railways, and exporters under the aegis of the APEDA.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, last week, asked the concerned officials to ensure quality norms for exports of food grain and other agricultural products from the country.
“In the light of increasing demand for agricultural products of India, the Prime Minister directed that all steps be taken to ensure quality norms and standards so that India evolves into an assured source of food grain and other agricultural products,” an official statement had stated.
Amid the reports of drop in wheat production to 105 MT from the earlier estimate of 111 MT for the 2021-22 crop year (July-June), India has set a target of a record 10 MT of wheat in 2022-23, amid rising global demand for the grain globally.
The government is considering several measures for ensuring domestic supplies of wheat while going cautious on exports. Sources said that domestic availability of wheat is constantly being monitored.
Meanwhile, the Department of Commerce has also planned to organise a series of such sensitization meetings on exports in major wheat growing states such as Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
APEDA organised one such interactive meeting with various stakeholders including farmers, traders and exporters in Karnal, Haryana on Wednesday for promotion of wheat export and ensuring shipment of quality produce, according to an official statement.