Oilseed extractors want GM crop for reducing dependence on imports

Topics GM crops | oilseeds

SEA said India's average per hectare yield of major oilseeds is over 50 per cent lower than average world yields in several crops.
The Solvent Extractors Association (SEA), a lobby group of domestic oilseed extractors, has demanded the introduction of genetically modified oilseed crops to boost the country's local production by 15-20% and lower its reliance on imported edible oil.

It made the suggestion in a presentation to Union food secretary as part of the action plan to raise domestic edible output and cut down dependence on imports.

SEA also said that the minimum support price of oilseeds should be kept reasonably high to encourage farmers to grow more oilseeds domestically and the much-talked about import duty on edible oils should be linked to MSP and proportionately raised as and when MSP is hiked

The association said that India's domestic oilseed production needs to go up from the current 30 million tonnes to almost 54 million tonnes by 2025, so that edible oil imports are reduced by 10 million tonnes annually.

India at present imports over 13 million tonnes of edible oils annually and this largely comprises crude palm oil and soybean oil.

SEA said India's average per hectare yield of major oilseeds is over 50 per cent lower than average world yields in several crops.

The association sought the immediate launch of a National Mission on Edible Oils (NMEO) with a allocation of around Rs 4000-5000 crore and the levying of a oilseed development cess of Rs 2500-3000 per tonne on imported edible oils to boost domestic production.

It also said that oil palm cultivation in India should be encouraged by declaring the crop as plantation crop and exempting land used for oil plam cultivation from the Land Ceiling Act. 


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