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Strict surveillance along the Nepal-India border leads decline in vegetable import

KATHMANDU: With the strict surveillance on the Indian vegetables along Nepal-India border, the supply of green vegetables to Nepal has declined significantly.
The government on June 20 implemented a provision of conducting lab test of vegetables and fruits entering the country via different Nepal-India border points every day to control the import of pesticide-lashed vegetables.
According to Binaya Shrestha, deputy director at Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board, the import of green vegetables has declined significantly from India as the test being conducted to ascertain the pesticide use in vegetables in border points caused delay in the supply.
“Due to lack of testing lab at the border point, the concerned authority cannot provide test certificates to the supplier there which has led to the decline in the import of green vegetables. As vegetables are perishable items they decay quickly in the summer heat,” he said.
However, the import of potatoes and onion is normal as these products don’t get damaged in short time as other green vegetables, he said.
The Bhairahawa border authority has been sending the sample of vegetables to Kalimati for lab testing due to a lack of testing lab there, he said, adding that it would take at least two days to send certificate of clearance.
“We did not find any inedible vegetables due to use of pesticides in the sample items sent to us by the Bhairahawa border,” he said.
Bhagwan Chandra Upreti, a wholesaler of Kalimati market, said that the local farmers were getting reasonable price of their products after the decline in the import of vegetables from India.
“The initiative of the government to undertaking pesticides tests in imported vegetables from India is very positive. It is essential to control import of inedible pesticide-lashed vegetables as consumption of pesticide used vegetables has affected the health of valley consumers,” he said.
This initiative is not only controlling the import of unhealthy vegetables but has also encouraged local farmers to produce large amount of vegetables to get reasonable prices of their products, he said.
“Even though the import of vegetables from India has declined, the local vegetables have met the Valley demand. Per day, above 1,200 tonnes of vegetables is required for the Kathmandu Valley,” he said.
The supply of green vegetables, including beans, bitter gourd, egg plant, cauliflower and cabbage are almost stopped from the last week, he said.
Around 150 tonnes of green vegetables used to import from India in Kalimati market every day before started lab testing of vegetables, he said.

Published Date: Saturday, June 29th, 2019 | 07:13 PM

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