India is the 2ndlargest rice and wheat producer in the world and commands a 40% share in the global rice trade. The present conflict between Russia and Ukraine, unstable weather conditions, and the post-covid situation have forced India to place restrictions on the exports of certain commodities to ensure domestic availability and to keep prices in check.
India is also the largest producer of many oilseeds in the world. Many different oil seeds are grown in the country that covers approximately 12 percent of the total cropped area and the main oil seeds produced in India are groundnut, coconut, sunflower, soybean, mustard, sesamum (til), castor seeds, cotton seeds, and linseed.
Farmers’ groups and associations in their pre-budget meeting with the finance minister demanded to lift the ban on exports of wheat and other agricultural products and also to transfer subsidies through the direct benefit scheme (DBT). They also want the government to put restrictions on the import of products that cost below the minimum support price(MSP) and to focus on increasing the domestic output of local oilseeds such as soybean, mustard, groundnut, and sunflower, instead of palm.
Sources said some groups and individuals who participated in the meeting also called for hiking the price of urea and pushing down Diammonium phosphate (DAP) rates to ensure the balanced use of fertilizer. The finance minister chaired her third pre-budget consultation with the experts in agriculture and representatives of the agro-processing industry in the meeting.
As Per “Jhakar”
In his wish list for the Union Budget 2023-24, Bharat Krishak Samaj Chairman Ajay Vir Jakhar demanded that the government “not allow the import of produce where landing costs are below MSP”.
He also urged the Centre to focus on human resources development in the farm sector.
Reasons For The Demands
Raghunath Dada Patil, President of the Consortium of Indian Farmers Association (CIFA), who was also a participant in the meet, said that farmers’ income has been adversely affected because of the restrictions on the export of farm produce like wheat and broken rice.
He further said that during the meeting he suggested that the government should not go on imposing restrictions on the exports of agricultural products as exports help the country in earning foreign currency.
India restricted the exports of wheat and broken rice to boost domestic supply and contain inflation. In order to reduce the dependence of India on edible oils import, Patil has suggested that the focus should be on increasing the domestic production of soybean, sunflower, and groundnuts. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister Of India, is likely to present the next Union Budget on February 1, 2023.
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