New Delhi: Saudi authorities have imposed a temporary ban on the import of pepper from India with effect from May 30, Parliament was informed today.
Reports say that the presence of high levels of pesticides in the Indian consignment was the reason behind the ban. "Saudi authorities have decided to impose temporary ban on the import of all types of pepper from India with effect from May 30," Commerce and Induatry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
Sitharaman also said that due to incidence of pest infestation in some consignments of potatoes imported from India, the Russian authorities have warned on the imposition of restrictions. India has exported 9,826 million tons of potatoes in 2013-14 to Russia.
According to the Indian Spices Board, chilli peppers are one of India’s largest foreign currency earners. Between April and November 2013 a quantity of 181,500 tons of chilli peppers worth $3 million were exported. The minister said that Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has issued separate advisories to exporters of vegetables to Saudi Arabia and to exporters of potatoes to Russia asking them to follow quality norms specified by importing nations.