Indore, March 5: The Central Organisation for Oil Industry and Trade (COOIT) has reiterated its demand for setting up of an Oilseeds Development Fund on the lines of Sugar Development Fund.
COOIT Chairman Mr Davish Jain said if the Finance Minister had included the demand in the budget it would have gone a long way in raising the oilseeds production and productivity, consequently farmers' income and obviating the need for waiving of the oilseed growers' loans. This would have also helped in augmenting domestic edible oils availability.
Welcoming focus and thrust on agriculture in the Union Budget, Mr Jain said the decision to continue with the current customs duty structure on import of edible oils will not only encourage the indigenous cultivation of oilseeds but also motivate farmers for increasing productivity through better package of farming practices and inputs.
He said the current prices of edible oils are in line with international parities and as a direct outcome of this the farmers have been realising remunerative prices for their produce so that oilseeds production which has been stagnant over the last 10 years gets a boost.
While waiving huge loans given to farmers may help them only as a onetime measure, the real need is to have a programme for sustainable increase in the farmer's income in the long term, Mr Jain added.