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India pushes EU to revoke ban on vegetables

Staff writer |
India is pushing the European Union (EU) to revoke an import ban on brinjal, snake gourd, taro, and bitter gourd.

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The ban was imposed last year after fruit flies were found in some consignments from India. The ban continues to be in force even though import of mangoes, which had been prohibited along with the four vegetables, was resumed earlier this year.

"There is no reason why the ban on the vegetables should continue when the EU inspectors were satisfied with our improved packaging and inspection norms for farm products and removed the restriction on mangoes," a Commerce Ministry official told BusinessLine.

The Commerce Ministry has taken the issue up "strongly" at the relevant working groups and sub-committees of the India-EU strategic partnership forum. The Indian Embassy in Brussels is also engaged in dialogues with various EU officials over the issue.

"The Indian Embassy in Brussels is pitching in proactively to help protect our farmers’ interests. In fact, two posts have been created for agriculture experts to advise on matters related to farm goods exports and imports," the official said.

Although the total value of the exports of the four vegetables to the EU is just about $1.5 million, officials said the fight was more to protest the arbitrary ban on agriculture products.

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