Stakeholder Intervention at 19th RCEP negotiations round-K V Biju Convener, National Farmers Coordination Committee

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I want to add more on dairy sector. RCEP will create an impact on diary sector. Any impact on dairy

is devastating,  because 70 percept of income of village farmers comes from only  one product that is milk.

 

After the reduction of import duty and removal of quantitative restriction, large quantity of skimmed milk powder and butter import started. The quantity of skimmed milk powder imported was nearly 20,000 tonnes and butter oil nearly 15,000 Metric tonnes in 2008. It reached 21000 Metric tonnes in 2009. There is a huge increase in the import in the skimmed milked powder and butter. More than 200 companies working in the field they mix this skimmed milk powder and butter with water and selling it in the market. This reduced the farmers gate price of milk. The New Zealand dairy exports to India increased 57% from 2000 to 2009. In case of Australia it is 25%.

Last December government of India removed the import duty of wheat. Potato import duty reduced from 30% to 10%. Crude palm oil reduced from 12.5% to 7.5% refined palm oil reduced to 15% from 20%. This may be to facilitate RCEP, After reducing import duty, there is reduction in farmers gate price, potato it is 20 percent, wheat it is 15 percent and all edible oil 10 percent. I beg you to understand problems of farming community. Last twenty years more than 0.3 million farmers committed suicide in India. Further reduction of import duty for FTAs will eliminate our farmers. So we can’t afford any free trade agreement including RCEP

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