“There must be no concessions on dairy as a result of this coverage has made us self-sufficient and the most important producer of milk. The US provides $28 billion of subsidies to its dairy sector each year. How will India face these subsidised merchandise?,” Sodhi mentioned at an occasion organised by civil society on the influence of a commerce deal between India and the US.
He emphasised that agriculture and dairy usually are not commerce points for India however livelihood points.
“Dairy is allowed from any nation however we wish equal footage. There aren’t any restrictions on import. Round 10,000 tonne of powder is allowed beneath tariff quota,” he mentioned, explaining that dairy is a $100 billion sector in India and about 100 million rural households rely upon it of which 80% are landless marginal farmers.
Explaining that India imposes duties value 30-60% on dairy imports, Sodhi mentioned that the US imposes 60-70% obligation on milk and its merchandise however India has not requested it for any import obligation cuts.
“The tariffs listed below are affordable and decrease than in international locations which need us to import their dairy beneath FTAs,” Sodhi mentioned. India imports dairy value Rs 200-300 crore yearly.
The US has sought obligation concessions on numerous dairy merchandise together with milk powder within the bilateral commerce deal negotiations, which Washington is eager to conclude earlier than its presidential elections in November. Individually agricultural produce akin to apples, pecan nuts, walnuts, almonds and soybean together with poultry are its different gadgets of curiosity.
Sodhi mentioned that the co-operative is in opposition to a free commerce settlement (FTA) with any dairy-rich nation akin to Australia, New Zealand and the US. Concessions to dairy imports was one of many causes that India exited the mega Regional Complete Financial Partnership (RCEP) commerce settlement final yr. Australia and New Zealand too have been a part of the grouping.
“There have been misgivings in RCEP and after they have been clarified, the policymakers listened to us…Our understanding is that the political management is conscious of this and nothing unhealthy will occur for Indian farmers. The US won’t get what it desires in agriculture and dairy, like in RCEP,” he mentioned.
Sodhi mentioned India ought to as an alternative push for dairy exports to the highest 10 largest dairy importers together with Russia, Europe, Mexico and China, who don’t permit imports from India due to non-tariff boundaries.
“When these international locations don’t permit (milk imports), allow us to work on opening these international locations,” he mentioned, including that at 190 million metric tonne of milk manufacturing, India is the most important producer and shopper of milk, and in addition the quickest rising milk producer.
India’s dairy market is predicted to be $300 billion in ten years.
“Now we have to speak about livelihood, they (the US) can discuss commerce. Farmers get atleast 70% share right here. The US must see our mannequin,” he mentioned.
The typical farmer revenue is Rs 7,000 and animal husbandry is giving elevated incomes particularly with individuals having migrated again as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.