Uncertainty over soybean crops could force India to import more genetically engineered meals: Mr. Balram Singh Yadav, MD – Godrej Agrovet.

“India may have to import another one million tonnes (mt) of soyabean meal during March-April 2022, in addition to the 1.5 mt expected to come in the next couple of months” Mr. Balram Singh Yadav, MD Godrej Agrovet Ltd.
In his statement, Mr. Yadav mentioned “Physical stock is unavailable in the country. I sense that our soyabean crop will be bad this year. mainly because of Madhya Pradesh facing drought in the first half of July and heavy rainfall causing water-logging/floods towards the month-end.” He further requested the government to take care of the situation and allow 1mt of soyabean import next March-April.

Over the last year, broiler feed prices have gone up from Rs 27-28 to Rs 41-42 per kg. The increase was lower, from Rs 22-23 to Rs 27-28/kg, for egg-laying birds. Broiler chicken feeds typically contain about 30 percent soya maize, 65 percent corn (for carbohydrates), and 5 percent vitamins, minerals, etc. Layer feed has less meal (15 percent), 80 percent maize, and 5 percent vitamins/minerals.

Mr. Yadav mentioned, “The cost of forage increased mainly because the price of meals climbed to Rs 95,000-100,000 per ton, from Rs 35,000-40,000 in a year. In addition, we have very few stocks today. We [Godrej Agrovet] need about 500 tonnes of de-oil cake [soyabean meal] per day for our own animal feed production, while we are barely getting 200 tonnes now.”
Imported defatted cake/meal is mainly derived from genetically modified (GM) soybeans. India does not allow the importation of GM foods. The Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change, specified that de-oiled cake meal obtained after grinding of genetically modified soybeans contains no living modified organisms, “Has no objection on the import of soyabean meal from an environmental perspective.”
Mr. Yadav added “Bangladesh is importing meal at $550 a tonne, while the price of our de-oiled cake is $1,300 to $1,400. Last year there were rains out of season closer to the time of harvest and everyone was wrong about the size of the harvest. Our own field reports suggested that there were pods but no seeds inside. We cannot afford another repeat from last year.”
“In January 2020, broiler sales in India were 75-80 million birds (each weighing 2 kg each) per week, with the same at about 40 crore per day for eggs. Post-pandemic, these fell to 60-65 million birds/week and 28-30 crore eggs/day in July-August 2020, before recovering to 70-75 million birds and 35-37 crore eggs by January 2021. With the subsiding of the second wave, eggs sales have held, but broiler sales are down again to 60-62 million per week because of high feed prices,” he said.