But it won't have many takers in global market where prices are depressed: Pawar

The ban on export of wheat imposed in 2007 has been lifted. But it will not have many takers in the international market where prices are quite depressed, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Saturday.

Talking to journalists on the sidelines of the function of the Indian Council for Agriculture Research here, he said no quantity has been specified for export of wheat in the wake of its low prices across the globe.

No quantity specified

The Empowered Group of Ministers on Food, led by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had cleared one million tonnes of non-basmati rice for export, but did not specify any quantity for wheat, though the proposal was for permitting two million tonnes to be exported from the open market.

Mr. Pawar also doubted if traders would actually be able to sell in the international market where wheat was not commanding a price right now.

Storage problem

Stressing that the country had more stocks than it required for domestic consumption, Mr. Pawar expressed anxiety over resolving the storage problem. The real problem would start when procurement of wheat started in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab, he said, stressing the difficulty in shifting the stock to central India owing to paucity of space.

ICAR award for M.J. Prabu

M.J. Prabu, Agriculture Correspondent of The Hindu, has been honoured with the Chaudhary Charan Singh Award for excellence in journalism in agriculture research and development for this year for his articles in the Farmer's Notebook column. He shares the award with Devendra Upadhayay, who writes on agriculture-related issues in Aaj Samaj and Farm and Food, which are mainly focussed on creating awareness of scientific knowledge.

The citation says the Farmer's Notebook in The Hindu demystifies the technicalities of agriculture and makes the stories easily intelligible to the common readers.

The ICAR gives several awards every year to recognise the contributions of scientists, innovative farmers, teachers, women scientists and journalists.