G7 criticises India’s decision to stop wheat exports

India says it is concerned about its “food security”.

India says it is concerned about its “food security”.

Agriculture ministers of the Group of Seven Industrialized Countries on Saturday condemned India’s decision to ban the export of unapproved wheat after the country was hit by severe heatwave.

“If everyone starts exporting restrictions or closing markets, it will only make the crisis worse,” German Agriculture Minister Kem Ozdemir told a news conference in Stuttgart.

India on Saturday banned the export of wheat Without prior government approval after scorching temperatures recently affected production for countries affected by supply shortages due to the war in Ukraine.

India, the world’s second-largest wheat producer, said factors including low wheat production and increasingly high global prices due to the war meant it was now worried about its “food security”.

All export deals can still be awarded before the directive, issued on Friday, but all future shipments require government approval.

However, exports can also happen if New Delhi approves requests from other governments. “To meet their food security needs.”

The decision came at a time when global agricultural markets were under severe stress due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Conventional bread baskets have seen shipments disrupted, with the Ukrainian agriculture minister traveling to Stuttgart to discuss with G7 allies how to get their produce out.

Some “20 million tonnes” of wheat were sitting in Ukrainian silos and needed to be exported “urgently”, Mr Ozdemir said.

Before the invasion, Ukraine exported 4.5 million tons of agricultural produce per month through its ports – 12% of the planet’s wheat, 15% of corn and half of sunflower oil.

But with the ports of Odessa, Kornomorsk and others cut off from the world by Russian warships, supplies can only travel on congested land routes that are far less efficient.

At this critical juncture, ministers from the G7 industrialized countries urged countries around the world not to take restrictive action, which could put further pressure on produce markets.

He “spoke out against export closures and called for markets to remain open”, said Mr Ozdemir, who has the group’s rotating presidency in his country.

“We call on India to assume its responsibility as a G20 member,” Mr Ozdemir said.

The Agriculture Minister will also “recommend” the issue to be addressed at the G7 summit in Germany in June, in which India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to attend.


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