New food oil export policy puts farmer's welfare in Quandary

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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 concern, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to take note of the problem and ensure measures to proevent the ill effects of the decsion farmers and related industries besides economy.

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 cheaper 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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