Poultry breeders’ association asks government to allow duty-free import of soybean meal as prices soar

Expressing concern over rise in animal feed prices in the domestic market, the All India Poultry Breeders’ Association (AIPBA) on Sunday demanded that the government reduce Import Duty on soybean meal to zero for at least five months. 

Soybean meal remains the most common protein source for all compound feeds for poultry, dairy cattle and pigs in the country and worldwide. 

In a letter to Union Minister for Animal Husbandry, Livestock, Dairying and Fisheries Giriraj Singh, AIPBA Chairman Bahadur Ali said: “There is an acute shortage of soybean in the supply line, leading to massive price escalation. The only option is now to ensure import to cool down the prices to save livestock farmers.” 

Domestic prices of soybean, from which soybean meal is made, had doubled in a year to Rs 81,000 per tonne from Rs 36,420 per tonne. But, in the global market, prices of soybean and soybean meal were half the Indian rates, he said. This price rise was “unsustainable” and was killing small farmers due to reduced demand and high risk, he added. 

Seeking urgent government intervention, the AIPBA chairman demanded reduction in Import Duty on soybean to zero for five months till harvesting starts in India. This would have no impact on farmers’ prices because world market prices were not less than the Minimum Support Price, he added. 

The association also demanded the Centre to ensure key soybean-growing States to issue orders for checking hoarding of soybean and make all warehouse owners declare stocks available with them. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are major soybean-growing States that produce 98 per cent of soybean in India.

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