1. Commodity News

No Ban Imposed by Japan and Saudi Arabia on India Cardamom Shipments

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

The Government of Japan and Saudi Arabia have not banned import of cardamom from India. However, Saudi Arabia Food & Drug Authority (SFDA) had detained  4 import consignments of cardamom (small) from India due to the detection of pesticide residue above the Maximum Residue Level (MRL) specified by the SFDA in  April-May 2018. After that the exporters have voluntarily stopped export of cardamom to Saudi Arabia, fearing detention of residue due to pesticide.

The Government, through the Spices Board, is conducting a series of campaigns in the cardamom growing regions in India to popularize the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices in cardamom among its growers and also promote the use of bio-control agents for managing pests & diseases in it.

Saudi Arabia Foreign Ministry vide Note Verbale dated 9/10/2018 requested the Indian side to give accreditation details of the laboratories where tests are undertaken for pesticide residues in cardamom before exporting to Saudi Arabia and the list of leading  exporters and establishments exporting cardamom to Saudi Arabia, which were provided through  the Indian Embassy at Riyadh  on 9th August, 2018 by the Spices Board. It was also requested to enclose Laboratory Analysis Certificate confirming MRL compliance specified by the SFDA issued by the Spices Board for pesticide residues in cardamom with each export consignment of cardamom.

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To comply with this requirement of SFDA, the list of pesticides tested by it in respect of small cardamom has been obtained. Out of 41 pesticides tested by SFDA, Spices Board’s Quality Evaluation Laboratory at Kochi has standardized 27 pesticides for testing and the remaining pesticides are being standardized.

A delegation from Saudi Arabia Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) had visited Spices Board's Quality Evaluation Laboratory in Kochi, spices export processing units and cardamom plantation in December, 2018 and held discussion with the Spices Board's officials. The delegation requested the Board to send the details of pesticides used in cardamom by the   Indian farmers so that testing can be done for the same pesticides in cardamom before exporting to Saudi Arabia. The details were provided to the SFDA through the Indian Embassy on 19th February, 2019. The Spices Board has been advised to draw up a work plan immediately to address the issue of pesticide residue in cardamom to resume the export of cardamom to Saudi Arabia.               

Note: The information was given by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

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