Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said Egypt, which is one of the largest importers of wheat from Ukraine and Russia, has approved India as a wheat supplier.
There is a sharp decline in availability of wheat in the global markets due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Both the nations are major producers and exporters of wheat.
Egypt imported wheat worth about $1.8 billion from Russia and $610.8 million from Ukraine in 2020.
The African nation is looking to import 1 million tonnes of wheat from India and would need 2,40,000 tonnes in April.
“Indian farmers are feeding the world. Egypt approves India as a wheat supplier. Modi Govt. steps in as the world looks for reliable alternate sources for steady food supply. Our farmers have ensured our granaries overflow and we are ready to serve the world,” Goyal said in a tweet.
India's wheat exports increased to $1.74 billion in April-January 2021-22 as against $340.17 million in the same period last year.
In 2019-20, wheat exports were worth $61.84 million, which rose to $549.67 million in 2020-21.
India's wheat exports are mainly to neighbouring countries, with Bangladesh having the largest share of more than 54 per cent in both volume and value terms in 2020-21. It has entered new wheat markets such as Yemen, Afghanistan, Qatar and Indonesia.
The top ten countries importing Indian wheat in 2020-21 were Bangladesh, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Afghanistan, Qatar, Indonesia, Oman and Malaysia.
India accounts for less than 1 per cent of the world's wheat exports. However, its share has increased from 0.14 per cent in 2016 to 0.54 per cent in 2020. India is the second-largest producer of wheat with a share of around 14.14 per cent in the world's total production in 2020.
India produces around 107.59 million tonnes of wheat annually; a major chunk of it goes towards domestic consumption.
Major wheat-growing states in India are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Gujarat.