India ships 1.8 million tonnes of wheat to nations battling food crisis
More than a dozen countries have requested Indian wheat shipments as a global food crisis triggered by the Ukraine war
India has exported 1.8 million tonnes of wheat on the request of foreign governments since putting a ban on overseas sales of the staple on May 13, a senior government official said.
More than a dozen countries have requested Indian wheat shipments as a global food crisis triggered by the Ukraine war crimped availability, pushing up prices.
India banned the private export of wheat on May 13 after a scorching early summer impacted yields and cut output estimates by nearly 5%.
The ban exempted wheat exports cleared for countries making a formal request for shipments to overcome acute shortages.
The G7 grouping of countries had criticised India for banning overseas sales of wheat saying it would "exacerbate" a global crisis, but the Union government said it was prompted to bar export to mitigate likely risks to the country's food security.
The Union government and the UN World Food Programme this week signed an agreement to supply 10,000 additional tonnes to Afghanistan bringing total shipments to 50,000 tonnes.
In Afghanistan, nearly 19 million people or half the population faces an acute food crisis, the WEP said in a statement earlier this week.
India has also shipped nearly 0.1 million tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh since the ban on exports came in force. Indonesia too has imported similar volumes after the export ban.
Export requests from foreign countries are being vetted by the ministry of external affairs, said an official, requesting anonymity.