20 C
Guwahati
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Ban On Wheat Export

After the Government announced a ban on the export of this staple food grain, the prices began to soften in the domestic market and fell by Rs. 200 per quintal in a matter of 3 days. Meanwhile, the prices in the international market touched a record high. In Europe, it rose by 6% within the same time frame. Given the sanctions on Russian exports and Ukraine’s inability to ship the wheat, it has been in the stocks due to the war. The Group of Seven (Go7) nations including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US have flayed India’s decision and asked the country to reconsider the ban

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

In what appeared to be a sudden move, the Indian Government prohibited the export of wheat on May 13. This appeared to be totally out of sync with India’s policy of goodwill and outreach through liberal relief and support measures under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure. Given the food crisis across the globe and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the importance of wheat and food grains, in general, has already been a part of public discussions. Union Agriculture Ministry officials explained that the step was taken because of the rising wheat prices in the domestic market. Closer scrutiny revealed that the Government has fixed Rs. 2015 per quintal appraising the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for wheat for the current fiscal by only Rs. 40 per quintal from the previous year.

After the Government announced a ban on the export of this staple food grain, the prices began to soften in the domestic market and fell by Rs. 200 per quintal in a matter of 3 days. Meanwhile, the prices in the international market touched a record high. In Europe, it rose by 6% within the same time frame. Given the sanctions on Russian exports and Ukraine’s inability to ship the wheat, it has been in the stocks due to the war. The Group of Seven (Go7) nations including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US have flayed India’s decision and asked the country to reconsider the ban. But given the fact that the food crisis is real for every nation, India could also do little. The Government’s realisation that wheat is going to become a commodity of strategic importance in the unfolding international crisis came during the Prime Minister’s recent Europe visit. While the Prime Minister was talking with European leaders about the Russia-Ukraine war coming to an end, the European leaders were invariably bringing up the food supply issues, some asking India to help poorer neighbouring nations so that, together this crisis could be resolved before it deteriorates any further.

- Advertisement -

Back home, wheat prices had crossed the acceptable threshold and the middle-class budget-sensitive population had already started talking about rising food prices and inflation. On review, it was found that scrupulous traders, anticipating a price hike in the international market, had started hoarding wheat right after the Russia-Ukraine war broke out. To add to it, even the production of wheat in the country had fallen short of the target given the long line of protests and bandhs. Besides, the Covid virus seems to be mutating inside hosts and coming out in newer forms. The low usage of sanitizers, proper mask behaviour and carelessness of the people towards the virus has only aggravated the situation. Having said this, as the food crisis is slowly engulfing more regions, it is expected that if the war doesn’t stop and the wheat supply gets back to normal, a large part of the world would be reeling under a severe food crisis, the kind of situation we’re witnessing in Sri Lanka, right now. Even if the war stops and the sanctions on Russia stay as it is, the food crisis is unlikely to improve. Moreover, the situation is only going to deteriorate if Russia and Ukraine do not find an amicable solution soon. At a time when beautiful countries like Sri Lanka and its people are reeling under tremendous crisis, it is only logical for the world to come together and think about turning towards a cleaner and balanced world.

- Advertisement -
Avatar photo
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
Latest news
- Advertisement -
Related news
- Advertisement -