Government eases import standards of 12 lakh tonnes of genetically modified soybean meal

The government on Tuesday eased import standards for 12 lakh tonnes of crushed and deoiled genetically modified soybean meal, used as animal feed.

The Commerce Ministry said the move would greatly benefit farmers, poultry farmers and fishermen.

“The import policy … has now been relaxed to allow the import of 12 lakh metric ton of crushed and de-oiled GM soybean meal (non-living organism only) … from the port of Nhava Sheva and LCS Petrapole , until October 31, 2021 or until further notice, whichever comes first, “he said.

The easing comes after clarification and prior authorization from the Ministry of the Environment that, since Deoiled and Ground Soybean Meal (DOC) does not contain any living modified organisms, it has no objection to such imports.

In addition, in order to ensure that the imported quantity of 12 lakh ton is not exceeded, strict supervision will be carried out by the Central Council of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) through the customs authorities of the respective ports, a said the Ministry of Commerce.

Imports are needed because soaring soybean meal prices have made feeding livestock more expensive, affecting farmers associated with the poultry, dairy and aquatic industries.

Soybean meal is a solid residue rich in protein after extracting oil from soybeans, the new crop of which is expected to arrive from October.

According to the fourth anticipated estimate of the Ministry of Agriculture, soybean production is expected to exceed 12.89 million tonnes for the 2020-21 season (July-June) against 11.22 million tonnes the previous year.

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Posted: Tuesday Aug 24, 2021 11:40 IST

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