The Government of India has banned the export of wheat with immediate effect, considering the need for the support of neighbouring countries to manage the country's overall food security. The government has placed the export of wheat in the "prohibited" category.

Important Facts :

  • According to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), export of wheat will be allowed in the case of shipments where credit of credit has been issued on or before May as a corona period arrangement.
  • According to the DGFT, exports to other countries can be allowed only on the basis of permission granted by the central government to meet their food security needs and based on the request of their governments.
  • The notification issued by the department said that the Government of India is committed to provide for the food security needs of its country, neighbouring and other vulnerable developing countries which are adversely affected by the sudden change in the global market of wheat.
  • According to the estimates of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, India has exported 7 million tonnes (MT) of wheat during the fiscal year 2021-22 which is valued at $2.05 billion. About 50 percent of the total wheat exports were exported to Bangladesh during the last financial year.
  • Egypt, which is one of the largest importers of wheat in the world, had agreed to get wheat from India.

Indian business delegation will visit many countries: 

  • On the other hand, in the midst of a ban on export of wheat, the Government of India has set a target of exporting 10 million tonnes of food grains in the year 2022-23.
  • The Union Government has decided to send business delegations to Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Algeria and Lebanon to explore possibilities of promoting wheat exports from India.

Formation of a task force on wheat export : 

  • The commerce ministry has recently constituted a task force on wheat exports with representatives of various ministries including commerce, shipping and railways and exporters under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) to boost exports.
  • The demand for Indian wheat has increased in the global markets and farmers, traders and exporters have been advised to adhere to all quality norms of the importing countries.
  • In this context, it is the agenda of the Government of India that the country should emerge on the world stage by emerging as a reliable supplier of food grains in the coming times.

Growth in Indian Wheat Exports:

  • In the period April to January 2021-22, India's wheat exports increased to $1.74 billion; Whereas in the same period in 2020-21 it was $ 340.17 million.
  • The country's wheat exports stood at $61.84 million in 2019-20.
  • Bangladesh has been the largest importer of Indian wheat.
  • India has also entered new markets like Afghanistan, Yemen, Indonesia and Qatar.
  • India wants to replace Ukrainian and Russian dominance among the 30 wheat importing countries in the world. Out of these 30 countries, about 10 to 15 are existing countries, but India's share is very less.
  • India's wheat export to the world is less than 1 percent. The stock has risen to 0.54 percent in 2020 from 0.14 percent in 2016.
  • Top 10 countries importing wheat from India in 2020-21 are Bangladesh, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Afghanistan, Qatar, Indonesia, Oman, Malaysia.

Wheat production in india : 

  • India was the world's second largest producer of wheat with a share of around 14.14 per cent in global wheat production in 2020.
  • Annually, the country produces 107.59 million tonnes of wheat, most of which is used for domestic consumption (98 million tonnes).
  • The major wheat growing states are Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • Top ten wheat producing countries in the world: China, India, Russia, USA, Canada, France, Ukraine, Pakistan, Germany, Australia.