India seeks Germany support to lift EU import ban on 4 veggies
India today sought Germany’s support for lifting the ban imposed by EU on import of four vegetables, including brinjal and bitter gourd, from the country.
Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh raised the issue during the third Inter-governmental Consultations (IGC) with the German delegation held here today, an official statement said.
The 28-member European Union (EU) had in May last year banned the import of Alphonso mangoes, the king of fruits, and four vegetables from India. However, the ban on Alphonso was lifted early this year.
The minister, the release said, told the German delegation to “provide necessary support for lifting the ban on these items for exports to EU”.
The minister said EU has banned import of eggplant (brinjal), taro plant, bitter gourd and snake gourd from India due to interception of quarantine pests.
He told the delegation that the EU ban on four vegetables continues despite an audit team of EU inspecting the export certification process and verifying the additional steps taken by India to ensure export of pest-free fruits and vegetables, the statement added.
Earlier in the day, India and Germany signed a Joint Declaration of Intent for cooperation in food safety and good agriculture practices, especially in the field of plant protection products.
This will facilitate mutual exchange of scientific and technical expertise and information and strengthen the professional qualification of experts.
That apart, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) and German AgriBusiness Alliance (GAA) to cooperate for jointly developing the establishment centres of competence- excellence in agriculture with an aim to provide skill development in Indian agriculture.
In a statement, German AgriBusiness Alliance Spokesman Joerg Rehbein said: “With this initiative, we hope to raise awareness on emerging areas of agriculture technologies and their application and adopt best skill development practices and concepts from India and Germany.”
ASCI Chairman Sanjeev Asthana said, “The proposed Indo- German Centers of Excellence in Agriculture shall provide both short and long-term practical, professional skill training on modern technologies and methods and organise demonstrations of technological advancements.”
Germany is India’s largest trading partner in the European Union and the seventh-largest foreign investor in India.