Center eases import standards for Afghan dried fruits: The Tribune India

Amritsar, December 27

Afghan dried fruit importers, who feared their shipments could be dumped at Attari Integrated Checkpoint (ICP) for lack of fumigation, were relieved after the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare extended an extension a temporary relaxation of standards.

Fumigation problem

  • According to standards, dried fruits must be fumigated with methyl bromide
  • Since the chemical is not available with Afghanistan, the dried fruits received here were treated with aluminum phosphide
  • As the process does not meet the stipulated standards, it was not acceptable, hampering the import

Dried fruits, an agricultural product imported from Afghanistan, previously had to undergo fumigation with methyl bromide, only as stipulated by the plant quarantine wing (import regulation in India), before being cleared by the Attari-Wagah land road. As this chemical was not available with Afghanistan, dried fruits received here were treated with aluminum phosphide at the checkpoint. As the process was not up to the stipulated standards, it was not acceptable, leading to the dumping of large shipments worth crore, hampering importation.

Aluminum phosphide, a toxic substance, is not intended for human consumption. However, in over 100 countries it is used as an approved fumigant to protect certain substances from rodents and insects. Its ethical use helps preserve food longer.

The issue was addressed by Anil Mehra, President of the Federation of Dried Fruit Merchants and the Karyana Merchants Association, who, along with BJP chief Tarun Chugh, met with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh. Tomar. Taking the matter into account, the ministry issued a notification to relax fumigation laws for importing agricultural products from Afghanistan until March 31, 2022. The orders indicated that shipments arriving until the date stipulated would be exempt from fumigation treatment. – TNS


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