Union Minister Kailash Choudhary on Sunday said the Centre had placed a ban on wheat exports to ensure adequate availability of the food grain in the country.
The ban was put in place on May 14 in order to control domestic prices amid concern that wheat output may be hit due to a prevailing heatwave. "For us the country is first and our priority is to make available adequate wheat to our citizens, We have banned wheat export so that people don't face shortage," the Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare told reporters here.
India's wheat exports stood at an all-time high of 7 million tonnes, valued at USD 2.05 billion, in 2021-22, with over 50 per cent being bought by neighbouring Bangladesh.
Queried on whether the Centre would provide financial relief to farmers facing losses due to the sudden ban on exports, Choudhary only said the government buys produce at minimum support price.
Listing the Narendra Modi government's schemes for the farming sector, Choudhary said, "The budget for agriculture was Rs 23,000 crore in 2013, which has been raised six times, taking it to Rs 1.32 lakh crore.”
He earlier inaugurated the three-day 'Soya Maha Kumbh' here, which has been organised by the Institute of Soybean Research and the private sector. Madhya Pradesh is the largest producer of soybean in India.
Speaking at the inaugural function, Choudhary said the Union government, in order to make the country self reliant in edible oils, was encouraging oil seeds and palm cultivation.
(With PTI inputs)