The heights of confusion can be seen when one media statement can create such muddled narratives which have the potential to delude the stakeholders of the most powerful organization of the world. The best example of the same is the headline “India Bans wheat export” . Many newspapers in India published similar headlines followed by the global media. This whole confusion reached to an extent that it gave rise to another headline “G7 criticizes India decision to stop wheat exports: Germany” which came out of a statement from German agriculture minister Cem Ozdemir said at a press conference in Stuttgart “If everyone starts to impose export restrictions or to close markets, that would worsen the crisis, We call on India to assume its responsibility as a G20 member”.
This confusion further rose to an extent that China utilized the opportunity and supported India’s decision to ban wheat exports in Global Times. Actually China was actually not praising India rather it was using the opportunity to mock on western nations specially G5 nations and their strong relations with India. China always utilizes such opportunities to ease down its frustration of not being tagged as Superpower. I sometimes doubt that this desire of China to become world power might take the whole nation into a big mess.
Now the fact is very different from this, these headlines are not fully correct, India never banned wheat export rather it made some necessary changes in Wheat Export policy. India is supplying regularly to 69 countries in the world. India will continue to supply, and we understand that it’s our moral responsibility during the time of crisis when major wheat producing countries which produce around 30% of the total wheat quantity of the world are involved in war. India announced that it is ready to supply wheat and fulfill global demand but this announcement created a problem in India, Indian private players started storing the wheat so that they can utilize the rising global prices.
This supply chain issue could have also increased the price of wheat in the Global market and in the Indian local market. Actually this supply chain flow hampering triggered the rise of wheat prices in India where the Government had extra reserves with FCI (food Corporation of India). This price rise was contributed by two reasons one was obviously supply chain blockage and other was the psychological factor that due to excessive supply there can arise a possibility of shortage. The Government of India took smart steps to slim down both the issues and banned wheat exports by private players. This was done so that the 1.30 billion population of India can enjoy low price wheat and on the other hand FCI will export wheat to meet the Global demand.
India has set a target of a record 10 million tonnes of wheat export in 2022-23, amid rising global demand for the grain globally due to the crisis in Ukraine. The ministry has already set up a task force on wheat exports with representatives. Not only this, India has committed to supplying 50,000 tonnes of quality wheat grain worth Rs 125 crore to Afghanistan, which will be delivered through Pakistan’s land route. The grain is getting delivered to the UN agency World Food Programme for supply to Afghanistan people. Thanks to our hard working farmers, India has been able to supply the people in Afghanistan with good quality wheat as humanitarian assistance.
This whole communication was misunderstood as a complete export ban on wheat from India and created such confusions that might take some time to be understood by everyone.