India is drawing up a strategy to step up the country's wheat exports to an all-time record of 21 million tons (MT) in the fiscal year 2022-23 as the Russia-Ukraine conflict has disrupted global trade.
The Ukraine crisis could be a silver lining for India as there is an opportunity to boost its wheat exports, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Indian Railways, the national transporter, has a crucial role in facilitating the transportation of wheat to ports for export.
While the total wheat market in the world is hovering around 206 MT, India has exported about just 7 MT in 2021-22. In 2020-21, India had exported 2.1 MT wheat.
The share of Russia and Ukraine in the wheat export basket was 42 MT and 24 MT, respectively, for 2021-22.
There is a huge scope for increasing wheat export in the current scenario, said the official and added, "The Railways has decided to make available adequate wagons for wheat transportation.
Railways have carried about 2,52,000 MT of wheat in 90 rakes for export purposes in the current fiscal. Consisting of 42 covered wagons, one rake carries about 2800 tons of wheat.
According to the official, an action plan has been firmed up to provide about 2000 rakes in the coming financial year to boost the wheat export, mainly through Kandla port.
The war between the two wheat-surplus nations has raged on for a month now, disrupting the supply chain with no end in sight.
The prolonged military conflict is an opportunity for India to create a market for itself in the world of wheat exports by exporting quality wheat like our Basmati rice so that Indian wheat remains in demand even after the crisis also, said the official.
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