Granaries Overflowing, Food Dept Suggests Export Of Wheat, Rice To Deserving Countries
The government has decided to liquidate its grain stocks to prevent damage and cut down the transportation cost beyond the requirement as the granaries of Food Corporation of India are overflowing.
The Department of Food and Public Distribution has requested the Ministry of External Affairs to explore the possibility of export of wheat and rice from the surplus stock available with FCI, through G2G (government-to-government) basis in the form of humanitarian aid to deserving countries, The Indian Express reported.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution had made similar requests to the MEA twice in the last two years. Over the years, procurement of wheat and rice in the central pool has increased, leading to the accumulation of surplus stock with FCI. The situation in contrast with the World Hunger Index figures, which ranked India 102. The index placed India in the ‘serious’ category with children having “low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition.”
As per stocking norms, the total requirement of food grain in the central pool as of July 1 was 411.20 lakh tonnes, and as of October 1 307.70 lakh tonnes. However, as of September 1, the stock available in the central pool was 669.15 lakh tonnes (254.25 lakh tonnes of rice and 414.90 lakh tonnes of wheat).
“The present procurement and lifting pattern of wheat and rice indicate that in the near future, FCI may have to carry huge and undisposed stocks, leading to not only blockage of borrowed funds but difficulty in accommodating new crop of wheat and rice due to occupation of space by the old stocks,” a note prepared by the Department of Food & Public Distribution stated.
“Therefore, for it would be in our interest to liquidate at least a part of the surplus stock of wheat and rice available with the FCI by offering the same as humanitarian aid to deserving foreign countries,” it further stated.