Soyabean processors to lobby government of India to stop GM de-oiled cake import

The Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA) seeks to urge the government to stop the import of genetically modified (GM) de-oiled cake (DOC) into the country.

The DOC is imported only to be exported to Iran, but the import of GM crops and products is not allowed in India. Most of the arrivals have happened at Kandla port, SOPA said.

At least 2 lakh tonnes of GM oilcake might have landed in the country in the last few weeks, the association said. SOPA has decided to engage with the government to stop the import of such DOC. Most of the arrivals have happened at Kandla port.

Processors extract as much as 18 kg of oil from 100 kg (quintal) of soyabean. The protein-rich mass and other solid matter left after extraction is used in the animal feed industry and is popularly known as DOC or soyameal.

DOC is an exportable commodity that earns the processors foreign exchange. Indian soyameal, due to its non-GM nature, has a niche market worldwide. Last year, the country had recorded export of 20 lakh tonnes of DOC.

For the current oil year, SOPA data shows that 45.36 lakh tonnes of the meal was produced, up from 40.50 lakh tonnes last year.

Exports of de-oiled cake from India till March 2019 totalled 15.266 lakh tonnes as compared to 10.44 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period last year.

India has reported a bumper soyabean with the country producing 114.83 lakh tonnes of the oilseed in 2018-19. The production figure for the previous year stood at 83.5 lakh tonnes. For the current oil year, SOPA data shows that 45.36 lakh tonnes of the meal was produced, which last year was 40.50 lakh tonnes. Till March 2019, 15.266 lakh tonnes of DOC was exported. Meanwhile, soyabean prices continue to be bullish in major wholesale markets in Maharashtra. At the Latur market, the average traded price of the oilmeal was at least Rs 3,710-3,800 per quintal over the past few weeks. 

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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