Kolkata, Dec 11 (IANS) The new agriculture export policy will not be of much help to farmers and also to boost exports of fruits and vegetables, unless various departments dealing with such exports become proactive in their operations, exporters has said.
They accused Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage (DPPQS) of not taking adequate steps to boost shipments to overseas.
“I do not think that the new agriculture export policy will be of much help to farmers unless organisations such as APEDA and DPPQS take adequate measures to be proactive in their operations and play an honest role in promoting exports, which unfortunately has not been the case so far,” West Bengal Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (FFV) Exporters Welfare Association’s Joint Secretary Ankush Saha said on Monday.
According to them, the European Commission had prohibited the import of certain plants and vegetables from India in 2014 and subsequently, the ban was lifted in September, 2016. An order to resume exports of vegetables was issued.
He alleged two years have been passed since then, but export of some vegetables to the European Union (EU) has not been possible.
“DPPQS is not ready to issue the Phyto-Sanitary Certificate and is even showing unwillingness to inspect the product. APEDA has also not taken adequate steps to facilitate the export of these vegetables,” he said.
According to him, nearly 3,000 kg of vegetables including different varieties of spinach, gourd and brinjal were exported from West Bengal to Europe, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and others, every day before the ban was issued in 2014.
This has now down to near zero, even though the ban has been revoked, he said.
The state also used to export Rs 50-60 crore worth of betel leaves to EU.
However, following the issuance of non-compliance by EU against a consignment due to microbiological contamination and APEDA suspending the exporter, exports of betel leaves to the EU from Kolkata has become stagnant since September 2017 since exporters fear suspension.
“I feel the APEDA should do a root cause analysis and deploy two or microbiologists to find out the main cause behind the contamination,” he added.