India’s edible oil industry calls for agricultural reforms: SEA

India’s edible oil industry body, Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) while expressing its appreciation of the Prime Minister’s announcement of repealing the three farm laws, pointed out that reforms are necessary for the Indian agriculture sector to become competitive and improve farmers income.

The association hoped that agriculture reforms should continue to be implemented in a more politically acceptable manner.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government has decided to repeal the three farm laws, which were at the center of protests by farmers for the past year, and appealed to the protesting farmers to return home.

“With hardened opposition stand of the farmers for whose benefits these farm laws were designed it was really magnanimous on part of our Prime Minister to announce its withdrawal,” said Atul Chaturvedi President, SEA of India.

Chaturvedi further added that the agriculture sector is crying for massive reforms if it has to become competitive and improve farm incomes. “Current high MSP (minimum support price) can never be sustainable as it would hurt consumers,” Chaturvedi said.

India’s farm productivity levels, which are less than 50 percent of the world average in practically all agricultural commodities, have to go up to improve rural incomes, he added. “We only hope agriculture reforms in a more politically acceptable manner should continue to be implemented,” the SEA president said.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Western Uttar Pradesh, had been protesting and were encamped at Delhi’s borders since November 2020 with a demand that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee MSP for crops

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