Farm exports from India
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Exports to the USA
India’s farm products face US import hurdles
The Times of India 2013/07/12
New Delhi: After claiming a major victory in “mango diplomacy” with the US, the government has realized that it was sold a lemon.
Despite the US agreeing to import Indian mangoes after irradiation to cut the risk of fruit flies and stone weevil, the quantity of the fruit shipped from India has not climbed significantly. The government blames the prohibitive cost which it has to pay according to the agreement reached with Washington.
With a little over 1,300 tonnes exported from India, the average cost per ton works out to $318, which is nearly 12% of the cost of a mango and its transportation cost, said an officer. The government has suggested that the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) could be asked to do the job to help reduce costs and boost exports.
Instead, the US has suggested that local inspectors be hired by the US Embassy, which will reduce the cost of pre-clearance programme by about around $25,000 a season. It isn’t just mangoes — the same story is repeated across various farm products with the Indian shipments facing restrictions.
Indian basmati has been put on an import alert by the USFDA, which says that a fungicide, tricyclazole, was detected in some consignments. This can lead to detention of the rice without examination.
Similarly, in case of pomegranates, the US recently allowed imports from India but the details of the irradiation treatment are yet to be finalized. In the case of grapes, India had sought market access in March 2008 and provided information on the pest risk analysis, but the US now wants information on the economic losses caused by some pests.
For litchis, exports have not been allowed as the US Environmental Protection Agency has not cleared the maximum residue limit (MRL) of sulphur dioxide, an issue which is being discussed for two years now. Indian officials said there has been little progress in farm trade,