India’s Edible Oil Industry Requests GM Oilseed Trials
The Solvent Extractor’s Association of India (SEA) has voiced a request to the government to allow trial cultivation of genetically modified oilseeds in the country.
Noting that India took the lead during the green revolution by introducing new varieties of wheat, SEA president Pravin Lunkad said that the same initiative is needed for the introduction of GM oilseed crops.
In recent years, oilseed production in the country has remained stagnant at an annual production of between 26 and 28 million tons resulting in a sizeable deficit in raw material supply for mills, which are now operating at 30% capacity. The SEA is also requesting that the government lower import duties on oilseeds from 30% to between 5% and 10% to make imports more economically feasible for the milling industry.
On a volume basis, vegetable oil imports are expected to be 19% higher this year than last, and if not for the 20% drop in prices, import costs would have soared. Imports are expected to top 14 million tons this year, worth Rs 65,000 cr, or nearly $10 billion.