India poised for record buffer stock of wheat

India poised for record buffer stock of wheat


New Delhi: India purchased 20.5 million tonnes of wheat in 2008 from local farmers and is within sight of a record wheat buffer stock this year, the chairman of Food Corporation of India, Alok Sinha, told Reuters on 22 May.

A likely record crop of 76.78 million tonnes in 2008, a result of better seeds and favourable weather conditions, have helped the government build large buffer stocks at a time it is battling inflation ruling at 3-year highs.

“In all likelihood, we will cross our previous record tomorrow. We expect to buy a total of 21.5 million tonnes wheat this year," he said. Food Corp of India is the country’s main grain procurement agency.

Depleted buffer stocks forced India to order expensive imports of 7.3 million tonnes over the last two years, and tenders floated by the world’s second-biggest consumer helped global prices soar.