MUMBAI: China has shown interest in buying soyabean de-oiled cake produced in Maharashtra and the initiative is likely to help fetch higher prices for the crop than the minimum guaranteed price, an official has said.
China's Consul General Tang Gochai, during a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here Monday night, said his country is looking forward to import agricultural products from the state and also invest in the sector, according to an official release.
Fadnavis said an independent officer would be appointed to develop more communication on this with China.
Keeping in mind the interest of soyabean cultivators, the Centre has announced a 10 per cent export promotional incentive (subsidy) as well.
This would certainly help soyabean growers to earn more as the export will also increase the demand in the domestic market, Fadnavis said.
Soya de-oiled cake is a coarse granular material, produced from cleaned soyabean seeds after a series of physical processes and multistage extraction.
A senior official in the state agriculture department told PTI that farmers would benefit if the soyabean market gets a boost.
"One quintal soybean produces 18 kg oil and 82 kg of de-oiled cake, so the price of the de-oiled cake is more important to a cultivator than the oil rates," he said.
"The Centre has also increased the import duty on various oils, including soyabean, crude palm and refined palm oils, that eventually benefit the local soyabean cultivators," the official said.
The soyabean grown in the state is non-genetically modified, so it in huge demand for export, he said.
"If the soybean market continues to soar, it could help farmers to earn better," the official said.
Maharashtra Agricultural Price Commission president Pasha Patel said about three million tonnes of soyabean will be available for export from the country this year.
About 50 per cent of that would be soya de-oiled cake available in Maharashtra, he said. The demand for soyabean de-oiled cake in China is 10 times higher than that available in India.
That is why China can be a good market for soyabean grown in the state, Patel said. Maharashtra is one of the largest producers of soyabean in the country.