Egypt envoy Hamed dismisses reports of Indian wheat being infected with pests

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Updated: Jun 05, 2022, 02:32 PM(IST)

Egyptian ambassador to Delhi Wael Hamed Photograph:( WION )

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It is pertinent to mention that Egypt is one of the largest importers of wheat in the world and has a major say in global wheat prices with its import capacity

Egyptian ambassador to India Wael Hamed has dismissed reports of Indian wheat being infected with pests even as the country receives its first consignments.

Speaking to WION, ambassador Hamed said, "These are miscommunicated reports... Egypt, as a big wheat importer, stands by its deals, provided they observe the requirements and have undergone the inspection procedures agreed with India as the exporting country."

In April, Egypt gave a go-ahead to import wheat from India. That month, officials from Egypt’s Agriculture Quarantine and Pest Risk Analysis department visited various processing units, port facilities and farms in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab.

It is pertinent to mention that the north African country is one of the largest importers of wheat in the world and has a major say in global wheat prices with its import capacity.

The envoy explained that the "consignments not intended for Egypt are simply that... not intended for Egypt. On the other hand, consignments intended for Egypt cannot possibly have pests since the inspections take place before loading the cargo ships.”

Egypt has been traditionally importing wheat from Russia and Ukraine. But this has been impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, chocking the supplies.

New markets, especially India, are being looked into internationally. India is one of the largest producers of wheat globally and has got requests from over 20 countries as the prices of the food commodity increase.

Last financial year, India exported 7 million tonnes of wheat. Amid the heatwave and inflation, New Delhi put a ban on the export of wheat. But it has allowed government-to-government transactions.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said, "We are not going to give speculators an open access to the Indian market so that Indian customers and the least developed nations of the world are at the short end.”

He highlighted that India’s aim is to prevent a "diversion to high-income countries because what we saw happening to vaccines, we don't want to see happen with wheat—wherein which rich people were vaccinated, and the poor left out."

India has exported wheat to 23 countries this year.

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