The Government today said there is no need to ban exports of rice and wheat because of poor rains as the country has sufficient stock.
On the back of bumper production, the country is currently exporting various agricultural commodities including rice, wheat, sugar, cotton and maize.
“I don’t think there is any reason to be concerned. As of now, there is no problem about availability of foodgrains and I do not think we need to put our export commitment on hold,” the Agriculture Secretary, Mr Ashish Bahuguna, told presspersons.
He said, “if India wants to be a stable player in the international market, we must continue with exports.”
The monsoon, the lifeline of the Indian agriculture and economy, has been deficient by 22 per cent so far, affecting the sowing of kharif crops. The deficient rains have raised concern about the possible impact on crop production.
Last year, the country received a good monsoon helping farmers to harvest a record foodgrain ouput of 257.44 million tonnes, which includes 104.32 million tonnes of rice and 93.90 million tonnes of wheat.
In September last year, the Government had permitted the export of wheat and non-basmati rice in the wake of a record production. Since then, the country has shipped 5 million tonnes of non-basmati rice and 1.5 million tonnes of wheat.
The Government recently allowed the export of two million tonnes of wheat from its godowns to clear surplus stock.
Apart from foodgrains, the country is likely to export 3.5 million tonnes of sugar and 15 million bales of cotton in the 2011-12 marketing year (October-September).
Recently, the Government also allowed the export of skimmed milk powder, casein and other milk products due to higher production.