Government should allow genetically modified seeds as well as corporate farming and remove market barriers to boost oilseeds output and cut the country's import dependence on edible oils, industry body SEA said today.
Amid rise in edible oil consumption, the declining oilseeds cultivation needs to be addressed on a serious note for which farming needs to made more remunerative, it said.
In a representation made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mumbai-based Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) President Atul Chaturvedi said: "The need of the hour is to think out of the box and implement policies which can be game changing." Both the government and the industry should analyse the root cause for decline in oilseed cultivation and take appropriate policy initiatives, he said in a statement.
Among key suggestions, SEA said the time is ripe for encouraging corporate farming and the government should consider allowing farmers to lease their land to corporates for long periods, without losing ownership.
The government should also allow lease rental of farms to be fixed in such a manner that the farmers' incomes are higher than the current returns from the land.
"This will allow land consolidation and encourage investment in agriculture. This system has been tried successfully in case of Solar Projects in Punjab and is working wonderfully well. Need of the hour is to give this a serious try in restructuring our agriculture,"Chaturvedi said.
Secondly, the government should consider allowing GM seeds. "The dilly dallying regarding introduction of GM seeds needs to end. Why should the country be deprived of technological innovations due to opposition from a vociferous minority. This needs to end...," he said.
Thirdly, the SEA President said the government should do away with the Essential Commodities Act as this law is "anti- farmer" and does not allow price discovery.
That apart, SEA said more focus on mustard cultivation, higher support price and tweaking of import duties of edible oils to ensure assured domestic price to farmers -- are other areas where the government can consider.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)