is the world's second biggest wheat producer (73.2 million
tonnes in 1998-99) after China.
wheat production in 1998-99 was 73.2 million tonnes, an 18 per
cent increase from 55 million tonnes in 1993-94. The 1998-99 output
made India the world's second biggest wheat producer after China.
But India has not yet established itself as a regular wheat exporting
nation. However, the bumper output in 1998-99 together
with other factors mentioned below positions India to increase
its wheat exports, notwithstanding the fact that production in
1999-2000 is expected to have declined by 2.9 per cent.
exists in the international markets for both durum and
aestivum varieties of wheat. The durum variety
accounts for only 4 per cent of the total world wheat production.
Nearly 10-12 million tonnes of durum wheat (valued US$2,600
million) is traded annually worldwide. India is a major durum
wheat producer, but almost all the 2.5 million tonnes produced
by it is consumed within the domestic market itself).
wheat output in 1998-99 is estimated at 591 million tonnes, i.e.,
20 million tonnes less than in 1997-98. In contrast, India produced
8 million tonnes more in 1998-99 compared to 1997-98. This makes
international wheat production scenario favourable to India.
is not that India has never exported wheat. From
1985-86 to 1988-89, India exported a total of 1.278 million tonnes.
But then, exports declined to 11,000 tonnes in 1989-90 and 13,000
tonnes in 1990-91. In 1993-94, the government permitted only 300,000
tonnes of wheat to be exported. This was increased to 1 million
tonnes in 1997-98 (it should be noted that the volume of foodgrains
allowed to be exported depends on the domestic demand-supply situation.
In the environment of trade liberalisation, however, no such control
can be expected to be exercised if production is plentiful as
are several constraints on India's wheat exports. The first is
price. The domestic price of Indian durum wheat is around
US$160 per tonne (as in early 2000) while the international price
varies between US$140-150. In the case of aestivum wheat, the
Indian market price is around US$150 per tonne whereas the international
price is between US$120-130. Improved agricultural technology
is the answer.
second constraint on India's wheat exports is a lack of advanced
facilities for procurement, processing, storage and transport
of the grain. This provides an opportunity to relevant companies
in other countries to export the necessary technology to India.
List of food and food-processing machinery
suppliers in India
Food Technology Research Laboratories
Agricultural Production in India