Officials explained that various states experiencing scanty rainfall might also get fodder and seed subsidy for contingent crops to be sown, especially if it is fodder crop of sorghum or jowar.
They added these measures were aimed at ensuing fodder supply to cattle and tackling protein inflation, a major part of which is contributed by fodder prices. Currently, export of oilmeal cakes and maize is duty-free. The decision to raise the export duty on maize has arisen since both cost of wheat and maize have gone up unlike earlier when maize was used as a major poultry feed since it was cheaper compared to wheat.
In a meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers, it was decided to make oilmeal imports duty-free. Officials added that earlier it was only for soymeal, but a decision might be taken for a rise in export duty and duty-free imports across oilseeds. “This will solve two problems. First, oilmeal cakes are used for extraction of oil, while the deoiled cake is used as fodder for cattle,” explained an official source.
The focus of the government till the end of August is to take measures to salvage existing crops and grow more fodder crops. The government has already released funds for the accelerated fodder development programme as part of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana even while the 12th Plan is yet to approve the allocation of the ministry of agriculture.
With the rainfall picking up in the last few weeks, prices for agri-commodities like sugar, turmeric, potato, pepper and cotton have gone down.