All India Poultry Breeders Association (AIPBA) on Sunday urged the government to allow duty free import of 12 lakh tonnes of soyabean meal by feed millers until September this year citing the impact of escalated soyabean prices in the domestic market.

“Indian soyabean prices have moved more than 100 per cent in the last year. From ₹36,420 per tonne to over ₹81,000 per tonne. Whereas the prices in the international market are just half of the Indian soyabean and soyameal prices. It means that the cost of production for the small poultry farmer has gone up by ₹45 per kg,” AIPBA chairman Bahadur Ali said in a letter to Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh.

Unless quick decisions are not taken in this regard, the livestock sectors and livestock farmers will suffer another massive financial loss, soon after huge losses suffered during the first wave of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns, he said.

The livestock sector, mainly poultry, is going through the worst crisis in the recorded history of independent India, Ali said. He said: “The unsustainable price escalation is killing small farmers due to reduced demand and very high risk. Most of the farmers are not placing new chicks in the farms. The major negative impact will be on maize and soyabean prices in the coming harvesting season for maize and soyabean farmers. An equilibrium in price and demand growth is essential to ensure the welfare of all.”

This, Ali said, is an interim arrangement till fresh soyabean crop start arriving in the market from October and stabilising the meal prices for the feed industry.

The AIPBA chairman also urged the Minister to direct governments in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan to declare soyabean as essential commodity, issue suitable orders to check the hoarding of soyabean and make all warehouse owners declare stocks with available them.

The reduction of customs duty on soyameal to zero for five months will ensure cooling of the commodity price, till the harvesting season starts in October. This will not have any impact on farmers’ prices because world market prices are not less than minimum support price in the country. The AIPBA also requested the government to increase the margin money on futures contract by 30 per cent. This, it said, will reduce excessive speculation in the futures market.

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