Ask Saudi Arabia Lift Ban, Horticulture Exporters Plead Government

Exporters of fruits and vegetables are knocking the door of the Union Government seeking its help in getting Saudi Arabia to lift the ban on imports from India. 

While speaking to a newspaper correspondent, PF Ashraf Ali of Ponoma Exports, Kozhikode said, “We have requested the government to take measures to amicably resolve the issue through bilateral discussions as Saudi Arabia is one of the major export markets for fruits and vegetables from Kerala.” 

Saudi had banned imports from Kerala due to the outbreak of Nipah virus in May last year. Nipah had killed around 15 people in the state. Citing this as a risk, 
a lot of Gulf countries restricted imports. However, they later allowed them, except for Saudi.  

Kerala ships around 150 tonnes of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis to Gulf countries. Of these 30-40 tonnes are shipped to Saudi alone, the value being $64000 per day. With mango season about to start in Kerala and good produce expected, exporters look forward to a favorable decision from the Saudi govt. to cash in.  

President of the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry, V Venugopal said that the immediate intervention by the government is the need of the hour as farmers, exporters and clearing and forwarding agents have been badly hit. 

Due to the drop in exports, farmers have to depend entirely on the domestic market for trading which won’t fetch them the desired gains. 

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