Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) on Wednesday pressured the Central government not to allow the import of genetically modified (GM) soybean meal declaring that it will adversely impact the local processors and farmers since the country does not allow farming of GM food crops.
SOPA Chairman Davish Jain said, “We understand that the poultry industry has once again requested the government to allow the import of GM soybean meal. The proposal for further import of GM soybean meal by some traders and poultry industry will be totally ineffective.”
He was of the belief that there was no justification for the import of soybean meal. Higher cost of soybean and soybean meal is a reality which has to be accepted, he said and assigned the hike to farmers’ refusal to sell at last year’s rates.
GM soybean has been approved in those countries where the productivity is much larger but that is not the case in India, said, DN Pathak, SOPA’s Executive Director. The imported soybean meal is low-priced at around ₹58,000 per tonne, while the domestic prices are at ₹62,000-63,000 per tonne, he added.
He also said, The industry did not resist the import decision past year, as there was a short supply. “That is not the case this year. The domestic crop of soybean is increased by 25-26 lt this year, while soybean meal exports are estimated to decrease to 10 lt from 20 lt in 2020-21 (Oct-Sep). So, there is no supply crunch,” Pathak added.