Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Union Minister Kailash Choudhary, on Sunday, said the Centre had placed a ban on wheat exports to ensure adequate availability of the grain in the country. The ban was put in place on May 14 to control domestic prices amid concerns that wheat output could be hit due to the prevailing heat wave.
“For us, the country stands first and our priority is to make available adequate wheat to our citizens. We’ve banned wheat exports so that people don’t face a shortage,” the Union minister of state for agriculture and farmers’ welfare told reporters here.
India’s wheat exports stood at an all-time high of 7 million tons, valued at USD 2.05 billion, in 2021-’22, with over 50 per cent being bought by neighbouring Bangladesh.
Asked if the Centre would provide financial relief to farmers facing losses due to the sudden ban on exports, Choudhary said the government buys produce at the minimum support price.
Listing the Narendra Modi government’s schemes for the farming sector, Choudhary said, “The budget for agriculture was Rs 23,000 crore in 2013, which has been raised six times, taking it to Rs 1.32 lakh crore.” He earlier inaugurated the three-day ‘Soya Maha Kumbh’ here, which has been organised by the Institute of Soybean Research and the private sector. Madhya Pradesh is the largest producer of soybean in India.
Speaking at the inaugural function, Choudhary said the Centre, in order to make the country self-reliant in edible oils, was encouraging oilseeds and palm cultivation.