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India’s decision to ban wheat exports criticized by G7

“If everyone starts imposing such export restrictions or even closing markets, it will only worsen the crisis and it will also harm India and its farmers,” said the German Minister of Agriculture. Agriculture, Cem Özdemir, after a meeting with his G7 counterparts in Stuttgart on Saturday 14 May. “We call on India to assume its responsibilities as a member of the G20,” he added in reaction to the announcement from New Delhi. “We have come out against export restrictions and call for keeping markets open,” Özdemir said.

Second wheat producer in the world, India banned this Saturday, May 14 exports without special authorization from the government, reinforcing fears for the world supply of cereals. Launched on February 24, the Russian military offensive is seriously disrupting agricultural activity in the countryside of Ukraine, which before the invasion was the world’s fourth largest exporter of corn and is on the way to becoming the third largest exporter of wheat. Due to the blockade imposed on the country’s ports, around 20 tonnes of cereals are waiting in silos to be exported and this year’s harvest is threatened.

India’s ban only affects future contracts

India decided on the ban to ensure its “food security” after a decline in production due to extreme heat and a rise in prices, a consequence of the war in Ukraine, which complicates supply on the world market. . Export contracts concluded before the decree may be honoured, the measure only concerns future exports. These can only be done with special authorization from New Delhi, which will decide on a case-by-case basis to approve requests from other countries “to guarantee their food security”.

The agriculture ministers meeting in Stuttgart “recommended” to raise the subject at the meeting of heads of state and government of the G7 in June, where India will be present as a guest. The Russian invasion of Ukraine will aggravate the fragilities of countries highly dependent on Russian and Ukrainian cereal or fertilizer exports, particularly in Africa, where food insecurity is already reaching peaks under the effect of conflicts, crises climate and economic shocks.

War in Ukraine: should Europe fear a grain shortage?

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