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Abstract

High tariff and nontariff protection of the Indian oilseed sector imposes costs on consumers, supports an inefficient processing industry, and has led to negligible gains in oilseed output. Model-based simulations indicate that higher levels of protection would increase the burden on consumers, but do little to meet key policy goals of supporting producers and reducing import dependence. A shift to direct support of oilseed producer prices would increase output, but may be complex to implement and subject to WTO discipline. Liberalization of oilseed imports, by permitting large gains in processing efficiency, could generate a stream of benefits that would allow producers, consumers, and processors to be better off, and also improve the trade balance.

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