Farmer's welfare in danger due to new food oil export policy

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Bhopal, Oct 31 (UNI) Livelihood of soybean producers and soybean industries in the country including Madhya Pradesh had been endangered following the Centre's decision to provide export relief for genetically modified food oil and maize.

Expressing this concern, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to take note of this problem and taking measures so that ill effects on farmers and related industries besides economy could be prevented.

Mr Chouhan stated that the policy so far was that food oil or maize -- produced through GM technology in the country -- would not be exported.

The Centre had decided that ban on export would continue only on food products manufactured in the country through GM technology.

However, food oil and other products that had been produced by GM technology and further processed could be exported.

He pointed out that the decision would prove disastrous for soybean producers and industries especially in Madhya Pradesh, which was known as Soybean State of the country.

Mr Chouhan said exported food oil would be much cheap because developed countries like the US provided heavy subsidy to agriculture.

Besides, experts had expressed fears over health impact on people consuming this oil.

He said the Centre's decision would force agriculturists to move towards other crops forcing soybean plants to shut down and causing unemployment.

Mr Chouhan said these unemployed people would migrate to urban areas in large numbers.

He suggested constituting a task force for studying effects exporting genetically-modified food products and chalk out a strategy after consultation with state governments, farmers and other concerned to face the new challenge.

UNI

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