India plans less wheat, more rice for free food programme after heatwave

Farmers harvest wheat in a field on the outskirts of Amritsar, India, on April 12, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India will allocate more rice instead of wheat for a food welfare programme that entitles millions of poor to 5kg of free grain per month, according to a federal government order.

The allocation of wheat for the Prime Minister's Poor Welfare Grain Programme has been cut to 7.1 million tonnes from 18.2 million, the government order said.

The allocation of rice has been raised to 32.7 million tonnes from 21.6 million, it said.

India's wheat output looks likely to fall in 2022 after five consecutive years of record harvests, as a sharp, sudden rise in temperatures in mid-March cut crop yields in the world's second-biggest producer of the grain.

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