Third batch of 2,000-tonne wheat shipment to Afghanistan via Pakistan scheduled for Mar 8: Food Secretary

Published on : 08:15 PM Mar 05, 2022

India has already shipped 4,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan as part of its humanitarian aid to the trouble-torn country through the Pakistan border. The third batch of shipment of 2,000 tonnes of the grain will be undertaken on March 8.

New Delhi: India has already shipped 4,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan as part of its humanitarian aid to the trouble-torn country through the Pakistan border, and the third batch of shipment of 2,000 tonnes of the grain will be undertaken on March 8, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said on Saturday. A total of 50,000 tonne of quality wheat worth Rs 125 crore grain will be delivered through the Pakistan border via the land route to Afghanistan in almost a month, he said and added that more aid of wheat will depend on the government decision.

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Asserting that Afghanistan has received "very well" the assistance provided by India, the secretary said the first batch of wheat was dispatched on February 22 and by the end of March, 10,000 tonnes will be delivered. The 40,000 tonnes will be delivered in batches of 2,000 each, he told reporters in a virtual press conference.

"And, the response we got from the Afghanistan side is very overwhelming in terms of appreciation both of the quality and the nature of assistance at a critical time," Pandey told reporters in a virtual press conference. The quality wheat has been provided from state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI). The grain has been checked in private labs as per the specifications required under the global norms, he added. The next batch of shipment of 2,000 tonne of wheat each is scheduled for March 8, 14, and 20 of this year to Afghanistan via the Pakistan border. Advertisement

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Also read: India sends second shipment of wheat to Afghanistan via Pak

Pandey said India is providing wheat to Afghanistan at an economic cost of Rs 24,996 per tonne. Currently, domestic wheat prices are ruling around the same level and even the global rates have also gone up, hovering in the range of Rs 24,000 to 25,000 per tonne. Wheat is delivered to international UN agency World Food Programme in Afghanistan, he added.

Wheat production in India, the world's second-largest producer, is estimated to touch a new record 111.32 million tonne in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) as against 109.59 million tonne in the previous year, as per the agriculture ministry's second advance estimate. Wheat, the main rabi (winter) crop, will start hitting the market from March 15 onwards. The country also has a surplus stock of wheat in the government godowns.

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