SEA demands government intervention as mustard prices drop below MSP


Expressing concern over rape-mustard seed rates falling below the minimum support price (MSP), edible oil industry body SEA on Tuesday demanded the government commence procurement and restrict imports of refined palm oil as part of steps to arrest the price drop.

Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA), in a representation to both food and commerce secretaries, said mustard seed prices in the wholesale market yards have crashed below the MSP of Rs 5,450 per quintal and the arrivals are increasing on a daily basis.

“Further drop in prices cannot be ruled out,” SEA Executive Director B V Mehta said.

He also noted that unbridled imports of refined palm oil have led to the collapse in domestic edible oil prices which is impacting the marketing of mustard seed at peak harvest time and causing distress to farmers.

“We feel heavy imports of refined palmolein are neither helping our mustard farmer nor the Indian refining industry,” he said.

To arrest further fall in prices, SEA has suggested the government restrict the import of refined palm oil by putting the commodity under the restricted category or by raising the import duty differential between crude palm oil (CPO) and Palmolein to a minimum of 20 per cent.

Besides, the government through agencies like Nafed can begin the procurement of mustard at MSP, it added.

According to the official data, rapeseed-mustard has been sown in a higher area at 98.02 lakh hectares in the current 2022-23 crop year (July-June). This article has been republished from The Business Standard.