Saying that Afghanistan has praised the quality of Indian wheat supplied to the beleaguered country as part of its humanitarian aid, India said on Saturday it had already shipped 4,000 tonnes of grain across the Pakistani border, and the third shipment of 2,000 tons is scheduled for March 8.
The remarks come as media reports of Taliban officials in Afghanistan accusing Pakistan of giving “inedible” wheat to the country.
India has pledged to supply 50,000 tonnes of quality wheat grains worth Rs 125 crore to Afghanistan to be delivered overland from Pakistan. The grain will be delivered to the United Nations agency’s World Food Program for the supply of the Afghan people, he said.
”Humanity first. Thanks to the hard work of our farmers, India has been able to provide the people of Afghanistan with good quality wheat as humanitarian aid. India knows how to treat its friends well,” tweeted Food Minister Piyush Goyal.
Elaborating further on humanitarian aid, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey addressing a virtual press conference later said: ”The response we have received from the Afghan side is very overwhelming in terms of appreciation to both the quality and the nature of the assistance at a very critical time.” Stating that Afghanistan had received “very well” the assistance provided by India, the secretary said the first batch of wheat was shipped on February 22 and by the end of March, about 10,000 tons of wheat will be delivered. The remaining 40,000 tons will be delivered in batches of 2,000 each.
The total quantity of 50,000 tons of wheat will be delivered in about a month, he added.
Pandey further said that India has been supplying quality wheat to Afghanistan through its state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI). The grain has been checked in private laboratories according to the specifications required by world standards.
The next shipment batch of 2,000 tonnes of wheat each is scheduled for March 8, 14 and 20 this year to Afghanistan via the Pakistani border, he said.
Moreover, India supplies wheat to Afghanistan at an economic cost of Rs 24,996 per ton. Currently, domestic wheat prices are around the same level and even global rates have also increased, hovering between 24,000 and 25,000 rupees per tonne, he added.
Asked whether more wheat aid will be provided to Afghanistan, the secretary said it depended on the decision of the government.
Wheat production in India, the world’s second largest producer, is expected to reach a new record of 111.32 million tonnes in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) from 109.59 million tonnes the previous year, according to the second report of the Ministry of Agriculture. preliminary estimate.
Wheat, the main rabi (winter) crop, will start arriving on the market from March 15. The country also has a surplus stock of wheat in government coffers.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)