India can’t feed the world with a major chapaati crisis at home

News: India has imposed ban on wheat import amid the global food crisis.

What are the reasons behind the export ban by the government?

First, this year India’s wheat output is around 6.5% less than the previous year.

Second, the hottest March in 122 years has stunted grain formation. Last year, a kilogram of Indian wheat resulted in about 770gm of flour. This year, that might go down to 720gm.

Third, India’s crop will at best exceed 100 million tonnes this year, it is a  steep decline from the initial government estimate of a record 111 million-tons harvest.

Fourth, Food Corporation of India (FCI), also slashed its procurement target to less than half of the last year’s target of 43 million tonnes.

What can be done to tackle the issues?

If prices of food grains increase, the following options can be adopted:

The government can impose stock limits to force traders to release their hoards.

FCI could also offload more rice than wheat into the subsidized public distribution system. This could free up about 10 million tonnes of wheat for government-to-government supply deals such as with Egypt, as most of the Indians use both rice and wheat.

Source: This post is created based on the article “India can’t feed the world with a major chapaati crisis at home” published in Live Mint on 27th May 2022.

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