G7 agriculture ministers said India’s suspension of wheat exports due to a heat wave would “exacerbate the crisis” in world grain supplies caused by the war in Ukraine.

“If everyone starts restricting their exports or closing their markets, the crisis will worsen and that will hurt India and its farmers as well,” German Minister Cem Özdemir said after meeting in Stuttgart with his G7 counterparts from the major Western powers. .

“We urge India to shoulder its responsibilities as a member of the G20,” which brings together major advanced and emerging economies, he added.

The G7 “has spoken out against export restrictions and we urge keeping markets open,” Özdemir told a news conference.

India, the world’s second largest producer of wheat, banned the export of the grain on Saturday, unless the operation has a special authorization from the government.

That measure reinforced fears of a worsening of the crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Before the conflict, Ukraine was the world’s fourth largest exporter of maize and was becoming the world’s third largest supplier of wheat.

But because of the blockades of its ports, some 20 tons of grain are stored in Ukraine’s silos and its harvest this year is threatened by war.

India, hit in turn by a heat wave that reduced its grain production, suspended its exports to guarantee its “food security” and face the spike in prices caused by the war in Ukraine.

The contracts signed before the promulgation of the decree will be able to be executed, but the following ones will require special approval from the government, which will examine them on a case-by-case basis.

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine will exacerbate the fragility of countries dependent on Russian and Ukrainian grain and fertilizer, particularly in Africa, where food security is constantly compromised by conflict, climate shocks and economic hardship.



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