EU ban on Indian basmati rice Provides opportunity for Pakistan’s Basmati Exporters
European Union—EU ban on Indian basmati rice could prove a great opportunity for Pakistan’s basmati exporters for capturing the rice market in the European nations. EU imposed a ban on the Indian basmati rice import in the year 2017, by decreasing hundred-fold the import tolerance level of “Tricyclazole”. As per the sources, it is really a tedious task for the Indian farmers to bring down the pesticide level to almost zero immediately. According to a rice exporter India and Pakistan are the most significant cultivators of the basmati rice in the entire world, ban on the Indian basmati rice import is a great opportunity for the rice exporters of Pakistan to capture the European Union market. He further mentioned that Pakistan is already taking over the Indian market and is expected to get orders above approximately rupees 1.5 billion from the EU nations this year. During the span of July to December the traders of Pakistan exported rice costing around $843.388 million, in this amount the basmati rice export stood at the cost $185.088 million. Recently, an Indian delegation for resolving the basmati rice issue visited the EU. All India Rice Exports Association (AIREA)—the grain exporter’s body informed that tough standards of the European Commission (EC) would be affecting the Indian exporters negatively as the trade would be shifting to Pakistan of around rupees one thousand seven hundred crores. The European Commission has recently decreased the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) level of Tricyclazole in the basmati rice to 0.01 mg/kg. Tricyclazole is a fungicide that is used by farmers for combating a disease. After this decision of EC, the Indian basmati rice exports to the European nations are on withhold. India has tried to get some relaxation on the newly introduced rules at some European nations. Last week Gajendra Singh Sekhawat—the Indian Minister of State for Agriculture took the issue to Germany and presented it there. Two varieties of the Indian basmati rice have been exported to the EU which are PB1 and 1401. These aromatic basmati rice varieties had a Tricyclazole MRL of 0.03 mg/kg. As per the sources of Pakistan, at least two crop cycles would be needed to bring in the desired changes recommended by the EC standards. The farmers are being trained and educated for using the fungicide in a cautious manner. He added that Pakistan exports the “Super” variety of the aromatic basmati rice and do not use Tricyclazole on the crops. He further mentioned that Pakistan’s basmati exporters are looking at the opportunity and would be shipping more rice this year.
Date: 07-Feb-2018