Around 17 countries, including Japan, the Netherlands and Iraq, have evinced interest in importing wheat from India, the world's second biggest producer, a top government official said today.
At present, the government is grappling with the problem of plenty due to record production in recent years. Its godowns are overflowing with a record 82 million tonnes of rice and wheat, against the storing capacity of only 64 million tonnes.
The government is mulling export of 2 million tonnes of wheat from its stockpiles.
Representatives of various countries today had a meeting with the officials of External Affairs Ministry, the official told PTI.
"It was a preliminary meeting. The representatives of countries enquired about the quality of wheat and modalities of shipment among other issues," the official said.
The government had lifted ban on wheat exports in September 2011 but the shipments have not been picked up so far. Over one million tonnes of wheat have been shipped through private trade since September 2011.
The country is facing storage crisis and wants to clear wheat stock, especially that of 6.6 million tonnes lying open in unscientific way before monsoon picks up in the coming weeks.
India is also in talks with sanction-hit Iran for export of wheat and is resolving the quality issues.
Experts said that India is in a better position to export as the CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) of wheat grown in Australia and the US is close to $315 per tonne.
The country's godowns are full with rice and wheat stocks due to record procurement and production in the last few years. Wheat production is estimated to be bumper 90.75 million tonnes in 2011-12 crop year (July-June).