Farmers' bodies ask govt to lift export ban on agriculture products; restrict import of products below MSP

They also demanded that the government should focus on increasing domestic output of local oilseeds such as soyabean, mustard, groundnut and sunflower, instead of palm.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, November 22, 2022, 06:56 PM IST
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Farmers' bodies ask govt to lift export ban on agriculture products; restrict import of products below MSP | Representative pic

In a pre-budget consultation with the finance ministry, farmers' organisations on Tuesday asked the government to lift ban on exports of agri items like wheat and restrict import of products that cost below the minimum support price (MSP).

Increase domestic output

They also demanded that the government should focus on increasing domestic output of local oilseeds such as soyabean, mustard, groundnut and sunflower, instead of palm.

Impose higer tax on processed food

Imposition of higher taxes on processed foods was another suggestion made by farmers' bodies during the virtual meeting with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Reducd import of produce with costs below MSP

In his wish list for the Union Budget 2023-24, Bharat Krishak Samaj Chairman Ajay Vir Jakhar demanded that the government should "not allow import of produce where landing costs are below MSP".

Focus on human resource development

He also urged the Centre to focus on human resources development in the farm sector.

"Focus on human resources development over infrastructure -- agriculture being a state subject & most states are not filling vacancies due to which there is rampant misgovernance, use of chemicals & attendant issues. @FinMinIndia find a way to fund this gap," he said in a series of tweets.

Global trading of carbon credits

Jakhar also pitched for allowing voluntary carbon credits from farms to be traded globally to enable farmers to get the highest value.

Income of farmers

When contacted, Raghunath Dada Patil, President of Consortium of Indian Farmers Association (CIFA), who also participated in the meet, said income of farmers has been adversely affected because of restrictions on export of farm produce like wheat and broken rice.

Restriction on export of agriculture products

Patil said that during the meeting he suggested that the government should not go for imposing restictions on exports of agriculture products.

According to him, exports would only help the country in getting foreign currency.

India has restricted exports of wheat and broken rice to boost domestic supply and contain inflation.

To reduce dependence of India on edibile oils import, Patil suggested the focus should be on increasing domestic production of soyabean, sunflower and groundnuts.

Sitharaman is likely to present the next Union Budget on February 1, 2023.

The finance minister also chaired her third pre-budget consultation with the experts of agriculture and representatives of the agro processing industry here.

Notably, it will be the last full Budget for Modi 2.0 government before the Lok Sabha elections to be held in April-May of 2024.

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