India could soon ban agriculture imports from Africa following the country’s Maharashtra Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (MCACP) lobbying government to ban imports of genetically-modified(GM) soyabeans.
GM soyabean was being imported into the Asia country from developing countries such as Ethiopia through other routes.
India’s imports are sourced mainly from Malawi, Mozambique and other African nations, MCACP said, Financial Express reported.
Though the imports were under the label of non-GM crop, trade sources suspected large quantities of GM soyabean were filtered into the country and that stringent testing by the domestic food regulator was necessary.
“We have called for an immediate ban on such imports as it will hurt domestic farmers,” MCACP said.
Spot prices of soyabean had fallen from a three-year high of `3,950 per quintal in January to `3,700/quintal and may decline further if these imports continue, MCACP noted.
India typically imports 1 lakh-1.20 lakh tonne of non-GM soyabean annually. Market sources revealed some 15,000 tonne of soyabean may have been imported in the past few weeks at `2,500-2,600 per quintal.