1. Animal Husbandry

Centre Allows Poultry Sector to Import 1.5mt GM Soyameal

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina

In a major initiative that will excite the poultry sector, the Union government has allowed poultry breeders to import 1.5 million tons of oil-free cakes made from genetically modified soya meal.  

As the price of soya meal rises above Rs.1lakh (one ton) mark, poultry farmers have issued an SOS to the Government, requesting permission to import genetically modified soya meal from the United States, Argentina and Brazil. 

The government wrote to the All India Poultry Breeders Association on Wednesday to allow the industry to import key feed ingredients to get rid of rising feed costs. 

During a webinar hosted by Business Line on Thursday on the outlook for poultry industry after the pandemic, a senior industry representative acknowledged receiving the letter. 

Rising soya meal prices have put the poultry industry into trouble because it accounts for approximately25% of all food needs on poultry farms. Feeding costs account for about80% of the total production costs of poultry farms, which makes the production costs of broilers and eggs prohibitively high. 

As soya meal prices are rising, the All-India Poultry Breeders Association wrote earlier this month to the United Ministry of Fisheries, Dairying and Animal Husbandry permission to import about 1.5 million tons of soya de-oiled cake/meal derived from GM soya seeds. 

The ministry forwarded it to the Union Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for approval. 

The Ministry of the Environment says it has no objection (importing soya meal) because it does not contain any modified living organisms.  

Senior official from the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Dairying and Animal Husbandry, quoting the letter said “The FSSAI said that anything which is non-food (not consumed by humans) is not under our purview”. Suresh Chitturi, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Srinivasa Farms, said, that the decision is to bail out the industry to help cut costs by more than half. 

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