A team of the World Food Program (WFP) on Wednesday started a visit to Punjab to understand the process of procurement, testing and transportation of wheat to Afghanistan so that a similar procedure can be adopted by it. State Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak said the five-member team of Sandro Banal, Filippo Zunino, Stephanie Heard, Amit Wadhera and Shruti will be visiting Amritsar to take a first-hand assessment of how long term storage of wheat is undertaken in Punjab, without deterioration in its quality. Terming the recognition by the WFP for preserving the foodgrain by the state a matter of pride, the minister said Punjab, the food bowl of the nation, has been feeding the nation and now the grain produced in Punjab is feeding people abroad also.
It was also creditable that the western nations are now looking towards India to study preservation techniques for foodgrains and it speaks volumes of the progress made by the government of Punjab in this regard, he added. Senior officials of the state government and the FCI will be accompanying the team, he said, while assuring full cooperation to the team. In a separate communication by the Ministry of External Affairs to the Department of Food and Public Distribution of the government of India on April 27 it had been conveyed that "WFP is highly satisfied with the quality of 10,000 metric tons of wheat provided by India to Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance". This quantity of wheat had been moved from Punjab to Afghanistan via land route through Pakistan. The transported wheat had been stored in PUNGRAIN steel silos of 50,000 metric tons capacity near Amritsar.