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India doesn’t grow the specialty food soybeans hence there is no supply and the soy food industry is using the same beans which goes for the crush for oil and soymeal

Demands the government give a “0” or minimum possible import duty for soybeans as the present rate of 45% basic duty which comes to 57% after adding other applicable taxes etc is really anti-industry

New Delhi, NFAPost: Soy Food Promotion and Welfare Association (SFPWA) has brought the attention of authorities on the non-availability of food soybeans and the government’s apathy to reduce import duty for its availability in the country.

Last year India imported approximately 500,000 Metric tons of duty-free soybeans from African countries to meet the growing demand of soybeans for crush purposes as the Indian soybean is way too expensive.

The association demanded the government could favour the soy food processing industry by considering this smaller quantity of food specialty Non- GM soybeans to be imported from the USA on a “0” or minimum possible import duty as the present rate of 45% basic duty which comes to 57% after adding other applicable taxes etc. is not commercially feasible to import for the food processing purposes.

Inconsistent and inferior raw soybean quality is the leading cause of dissatisfied consumers wanting better taste, texture and flavor profiles. Indian soybeans are oil and meal-centric, suitable for animal utilisation. There are no food specialty soybeans grown in the country, thus the supply of the same does not exist.

While all Indian beans are non-GM, they are also treated as commodity beans regardless of the end-user, be it in the food or feed industry. When soybeans are needed for food applications, Indian producers grade and select the best beans from the general lots and sell them at a premium price.

Unfortunately, this does not qualify to satisfy the specialty food characteristics and do not match up with the quality standards and expectations for producing retail end products the consumer’s desire. As a result, many Indian soy food processors are now forced to shut down.

Soy Food Promotion and Welfare Association President K Sarat Chandra Kumar said the beans could be allowed into the country at “zero” duty under tariff-rate quota since food specialty soybeans are not grown in the country.

“Fortunately, there are Non-GM specialty food-grade soybeans grown in the United States with specific varieties and traits for various soy food applications. These are Identity preserved (IP) and have been regularly preferred and supplied directly to soy food manufacturers in SE Asia, China, Japan and other countries,” said K Sarat Chandra Kumar.

K Sarat Chandra Kumar said IP is a practice of segregating crops throughout the process of production, processing, and distribution in order to deliver a specific trait or quality to the end market.

“These specialty beans have been created and customized with lower oil content, higher inherent sucrose, low oligosaccharide (raffinose and stachyose) and stable protein structures making them highly suitable for soy food manufacturing. These exclusive technical features are attributed to produce high-quality products with no off smell and greater acceptability,” said K Sarat Chandra Kumar.

According to Soy Food Promotion and Welfare Association Vice President Sumit Agarwal the current production of soybeans in India is approximately 10.5 million metric tons but there are no specialty food beans grown in India thus the supply of the same doesn’t exist.

“While all Indian beans are non-GM, they are also treated as commodity beans regardless of the end use, be it in the food or feed industry. When soybeans are needed for food applications, Indian producer’s grade and select the best beans from the general lots and sell them at a premium price. Unfortunately, this does not qualify to satisfy the specialty food characteristics and do not match up with the quality standards and expectations for producing retail end products the consumer’s desire. As a result, many Indian soy food processors are now forced to shut down,” said Soy Food Promotion and Welfare Association.

The Soy Food Promotion and Welfare Association said it represents over 3,000 small, medium and large-scale units across the country that provide low-cost nutrition under the “Nutrition Mission” of India.SFPWA representing soybean food processing industries has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the processing industry to import 50,000 tonnes of food specialty soybeans from the US duty-free.

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