Pawar for export of wheat and rice

According to agriculture minister, Sharad Pawar, India should lift a ban on exports of wheat and common grades of rice as the country had sufficient stocks and would likely harvest a second year of bumper foodgrains output because of normal monsoon rains.  

"There is ample availability of wheat and rice. The government should apply its mind whether to enter the global market now," he told reporters today. He added that high global prices would provide good returns to farmers. 

India's food grain output touched a 235.9 MT in the crop year ending June. State-run warehouses are overflowing with stocks, even as the government makes preparations for storage of the newly-harvested wheat crop. 

Pawar said global wheat and rice prices were attractive and exports by India would help farmers earn better returns. 

Regarding impact of the normal monsoon forecast for June-September, he said it would help achieve at least 4 per cent farm sector growth this fiscal year started 1April. 

According to agriculture secretary P K Basu, India could easily afford to export 2MT each of wheat and rice given the current level of stocks and production the country was heading towards.