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Chinese Apples are Likely to be Seen in Indian Markets Soon

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

India has agreed to start steps for a possible resumption of imports of apples and pears from China that were suspended in June, 2017 after bugs and fungus were detected in the fruits. As per a government official, “New Delhi has now agreed to send a team to China to inspect apples and pears to be sure that they are free of contaminants. After the team has carried out its inspections, further decision on the matter can be taken.”

Commerce Ministry officials had assured Chinese Vice-Minister Zhang Jiwen of General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) and his team that their demand for resumption of imports of apples and pears would be taken into consideration.

Earlier, the ban on imports was imposed by India after the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) had issued many warnings to China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) alerting them to the presence of mealy bug and fungus in consignments coming from that country. After that, GACC officials had assured that steps would be taken to ensure that the problem would not recur.

The officials added, “The NPPO will now send a team to visit the orchards and processing/packaging units to review the phyto-sanitary measures that have been adopted to keep apples and pears free of bugs and other contaminants.”

According to the industry estimates, import of apples from China in 2016 was about 125,134 tonnes, which were more than half of the total apple imports by India. The ban on Chinese apples also helped demand for local apples stay robust.

It is to be noted that, India has agreed to examine the demand of resuming imports of apples and pears from China as the neighbouring country softened its position on import of fruits from India. Beijing has imported grapes from India recently and is also negotiating terms for import of other fruits, like pomegranate and bananas.

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