December 12, 2021 12:53:25 am
THE CENTRAL government’s decision not to extend the import of crushed and genetically modified deoiled soya cake is expected to help farmers earn higher remuneration in the domestic market. Ninety per cent of the soyabean harvest has been withheld by the farmers following lower prices in the domestic market.
Former Maharashtra State Agriculture Price Commission Chairperson Pasha Patel said, “The Centre was under pressure from poultry industry to allow the import of deoiled soya cake, but we had opposed the move.”
Patel had also met Union Minister for Commerce Piyush Goyal and submitted a memorandum in the matter. He has stressed that any decision to allow the import of deoiled soya cake would adversely impact the domestic market and farmers.
Maharashtra is the second highest cultivator of soya bean. The crop is mainly cultivated in the Vidarbha and Marathwada region.
Patel said, “At present, there are 13 lakh metric tonnes of deoiled soya cake stocked in the country. Moreover, the requirement of soya meal is 60 lakh tonnes. Whereas, soya meal production is 86 lakh tonnes. The domestic market has surplus production and the ability to meet the requirements of the poultry industry.
In June 2020, prices of soya meal saw a steep hike, which affected the poultry industry as poultry food became expensive. Apart from that, there was also a shortage of supply.
The Centre had given permitted the poultry industry to import crushed and deoiled soya cake to ease their pressure. However, the Centre had said that only 1.2 million metric tonnes of deoiled soya cake will be allowed to India.
The developments harmed the farmers. On one hand, farmers were fighting crisis due to natural incessant rain and other uncertain soyabean prices.
Last year, after the government allowed the import of soya beans prices at the domestic market crashed from Rs 8,800 per quintal to Rs 4,000 or lower per quintal.
The minimum support price for the soya bean crop is Rs 6,200 per quintal, but the market price is lower at Rs 5,800 to Rs 6,200 per quintal.
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