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India is struggling to feed itself as ‘climate change consumes chapatis’!

New Delhi, India – The world’s second-most populous country is trying to feed itself. Climate change and a wheat shortage caused by the Russia-Ukraine war are placing pressure on the government to reduce exports and prioritize local supplies. According to Bloomberg, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured US President Joe Biden in April 2022 that ‘India is ready to offer food stockpiles to the globe starting tomorrow’. The nation imposed a restriction on wheat exports in May 2022.

The searing heat and a lack of wheat supplies from Russia and Ukraine owing to the continuing war have reduced wheat availability in India. Worryingly, the same amount of grain now yields less flour due to a decline in quality. According to the research, one kilo of Indian wheat yielded 720 grams of flour this year. It used to be roughly 770 grams. This deficit may result in 6.5 percent fewer chapatis in India this year.

India recorded the warmest March in 122 years in 2022. It should be emphasized that wheat requires chilly temperatures to thrive. Due to the scorching weather, wheat output in India may dip below 100 million tonnes this year. It is roughly 11 million tonnes less than the government’s projection of 111 million tonnes.

Effect on PDS
Low output has an effect on the Public Distribution System (PDS). The Food Corporation of India (FCI), which buys wheat from farmers and distributes it to the needy, is expected to buy about half the quantity of wheat it did in 2021. Last year, the government agency purchased 43 million tonnes of coal. They are only anticipated to purchase 19.5 million tonnes this year.

What can the Modi administration do?
Modi’s government has a number of remedies, but most of them are simply temporary.

*More rice, less wheat: If wheat stockpiles fall to dangerously low levels, the government can replace it in the PDS with more rice.

*Hoarding Cap: The government may put limitations on the amount of stock maintained by traders. This may compel hoarders to sell part of their stock on the market in order to lower prices.

*Lithuania has suggested a safe corridor for grain supplies between Russia and Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine are two of the world’s leading grain suppliers. If the strategy is implemented, India may feel a little less strain.


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