The Indian government has rejected calls to extend the arrival deadline for shipments of genetically modified (GM) soya meal beyond 31 January, AgriCensus reported local press reports as saying on 13 December.

India’s central government had decided against extending the import of 1.2M tonnes of GM soya meal, The Indian Express wrote.

The move followed lobbying by India’s poultry industry association to extend the date of shipments of GM soya meal to 31 March 2022, according to the report.

However, the Soybean Processors Association (SOPA) had opposed the calls, AgriCensus wrote, due to the fact that an adequate domestic supply of soya meal supply meant there was no need for a further extension.

“It is not a big deal that India rejected the extension of the import quota,” Gaurav Jain from AgPulse Analytica told AgriCensus. “This is because India might not import the full 1.2M tonnes anyway.”

The Indian government had announced on 24 August that it would allow the import of up to 1.2M tonnes of GM soya meal to compensate for a supply shortage in the local market and to regulate domestic prices, the report said.

This meant that soya meal, tur (pigeon peas) and urad (black matpe beans) would be imported tax-free as long as the bill of lading was issued before 31 January.