Kathmandu, September 9
Export of ginger to India resumed from today as the lab test report showed negative results for pesticide residue as alleged by the Indian quarantine officers at the customs point.
Trucks loaded with ginger were stuck at various customs points for nine days as the Indian quarantine officers restricted their passage citing high residue of pesticide called aldicarb, which is used to prevent root-splitting fungal disease in the product.
Nepali traders had spoken with the customs authorities of Panitanki, Sonauli and Jogbani to send the products for lab tests after the trucks loaded with ginger were not given the clearance from the quarantine offices there.
“Following the negotiations with the authorities of the border customs, samples of ginger were sent to Bangalore for residue analysis,” said Narendra Kumar Khadka, president of Nepal Ginger Producers and Traders Association (NGPTA).
“After the lab tests verified the claims of traders that there was no pesticide residue, Indian customs allowed the trucks to cross the border from today.”
In Nepal, farmers have been adopting good agricultural practice (GPA) in ginger farming.
GPA allows very limited use of chemical fertiliser and pesticide (during production process) as set by the standards.
Around 400,000 individuals are involved in ginger farming and 200 individuals in trading of the produce.
The country’s annual production of ginger hovers at around 450,000 tonnes. In terms of ginger production, Nepal ranks third in the world, after China and India. The country exports around 70 per cent of its production to southern neighbour India. Ginger is also one of the export priority products included in the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy. The country had exported ginger worth Rs 643.08 million in the last fiscal.
The government has also been supporting ginger producers in value addition of their products.
The Ministry of Commerce has been supporting Nepal Ginger Producers and Traders Association under Nepal Enhanced Capacities for Trade and Development (NECTRADE) project to establish a washing facility along with enhanced cultivation methods, efficient processing and improved storage facilities so that the beneficiaries could fetch better prices.
A version of this article appears in print on September 10, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.