Rising wheat prices
Is it the turn of wheat to witness soaring prices as private agri-products marketing firms are importing high-protein wheat varieties as rain and hailstorms damaged the domestic crop this year? The untimely rains wreaked havoc. Good quality MP Sihor wheat is sold at R36/kg—the earlier price was R32/kg. The government has raised import duty on wheat to 25% from the existing 10%. Wheat production has declined to 88.94 million tonnes this year from 95.85 million tonnes last year. The silver lining is that sufficient stocks held by the government will see us through. Prices of pulses are sky high,and are refusing to come down. Pulses are said to be poor man’s meat as they are good source of protein. Wheat is staple in the country as chappattis are eaten all over India—even in South India, where till some decades back, there was aversion to wheat as rice is the staple food in that part. Asia’s hunger for bread and pastries has pushed up demand for wheat. Imported wheat is used for making bread and noodles. The demand for wheat is increasing in South India where people are increasingly preferring naan and chapattis apart from traditional rice and items made from rice like idlis and dosas. Bread and pizzas are convenience food preferred by working couples. Efforts should be made that prices of wheat remain stable.
Deendayal M Lulla, Mumbai