1. Agriculture World

SOPA Opposes Import of GM Soybean Meal to Protect Farmers' Interests

Jain stated that the poultry industry has projected a demand for 90 lakh tonnes (lt) of soybean meal, which is completely incorrect and unsupported by facts. "This inflated demand is being given only to make a case for imports," he said, adding that at the end of the season in September 2022, there would be a carryover stock of nearly 20 lt of uncrushed soyabean.

Shivam Dwivedi
Picture of Soybean
Picture of Soybean

The Indore-based Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) urged the Centre government on Wednesday not to allow the import of genetically modified (GM) soyabean meal, claiming that it would harm local processors and farmers because the country does not allow the cultivation of GM food crops.

"We understand that the poultry industry has asked the government to allow the import of GM soybean meal once more." "The suggestion by some traders and the poultry industry to import more GM soybean meal will be completely counter-productive," SOPA Chairman Davish Jain wrote in a letter to Union Animal Husbandry Secretary Atul Chaturvedi.

Jain stated that the poultry industry has projected a demand for 90 lakh tonnes (lt) of soybean meal, which is completely incorrect and unsupported by facts. "This inflated demand is being given only to make a case for imports," he said, adding that at the end of the season in September 2022, there would be a carryover stock of nearly 20 lt of uncrushed soyabean.

He believed that there was no justification for the importation of soyabean meal. Higher soyabean and soyabean meal prices are a reality that must be accepted, he said, attributing the increase to farmers' refusal to sell at the previous year's rates.

When asked why the industry hasn't become more competitive, SOPA's Executive Director, DN Pathak, stated that GM soyabeans are permitted in countries where productivity is much higher, but not in India.

He claims that imported soybean meal is less expensive at around 58,000 per tonne, while domestic prices are around 62,000-63,000 per tonne.

He also stated that the industry did not object to the import decision made last year due to a lack of supply. "That will not be the case this year." This year's domestic soybean crop is expected to be 25-26 lt higher, while soybean meal exports are expected to fall to 10 lt from 20 lt in 2020-21. (October-September). As a result, there is no supply crunch," Pathak explained.

The government allowed imports of 12 lt of GM de-oiled soya cake, used as livestock feed, last year, but only 6 lt were actually imported, according to Pathak.

In its letter to Chaturvedi, the association stated that the country has been suffering in terms of edible oil supply due to the policy of relying on imports and that there has been little effort to increase oilseed production. "If we import soybean meal as well, we will be opening the door for future imports worth billions of dollars," the letter stated.

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