New Delhi: With the Ukraine conflict affecting food security around the world, India is proving to be a lifesaver to countries in need of wheat and sugar. After providing Lebanon with wheat, India is now looking to supply Egypt with the key commodity.
The northeast African country, one of the biggest importers of wheat in the world, has agreed to source wheat from India, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said.
The Indian Embassy in Egypt too said in a tweet that Egypt is sourcing wheat from India.
“In a huge boost to India’s exports prospects which would help enhance farmers’ income, Egypt, one of the largest importers of grain, has agreed to source wheat from India,” it tweeted.
Goyal said in a tweet: “Indian farmers are feeding the world.
“Egypt approves India as a wheat supplier. Modi Govt. steps in as world looks for reliable alternate sources for steady food supply.
“Our farmers have ensured our granaries overflow & we are ready to serve the world.”
The development comes as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated in Parliament earlier this month that many countries are seeking to import wheat and sugar from India with the Ukraine conflict hitting supply chains. This was also an issue discussed during the recent 2+2 talks between India and the US.
An official delegation from Egypt is on a visit to India to explore possibilities of sourcing grain from India to meet domestic demand.
Officials from Egypt’s agriculture quarantine and pest risk analysis ministry, which imported 6.1 million tonne (mt) of wheat in 2021, is visiting processing units, port facilities and farms in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab during a five-day visit.
Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reform in a statement announced India as a “trusted new facility for wheat import”.
Egypt, which depended heavily on Russia and Ukraine for its wheat imports, is planning to procure a significant amount of wheat from India.
Egypt imported wheat worth about $1.8 billion from Russia and $610.8 million from Ukraine in 2020.
Earlier this week, Lebanon’s Economy and Trade Minister Amin Salam expressed his heartfelt gratitude to India for sending a delivery of wheat to Beirut, with the Ukraine war affecting wheat supplies, and also said that his country is keen to partner with India for turning around his country’s economy.
While attending the Business Seminar and Iftaar Dinner organized by the Indian Embassy in Beirut on Wednesday, Minister Salam thanked the Indian Embassy, and in particular the Indian Ambassador, for promptly organising and delivering the wheat supplies to his country.
India is also proving 50,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance, and 40,000 MT of rice to Sri Lanka to help it tide over its economic and food crisis.