India has suspended import of fresh Kiwi fruits from Iran due to rise in pest infested consignments from the middle eastern nation despite repeated warnings, according to the Union Agriculture Ministry. Import of Iran’s fresh Kiwi fruits has been banned with effect from December 7 by the nodal body National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) under the Agriculture Ministry.
”The phytosanitary certificates issued by the NPPO, Iran from December 8, 2021 for fresh Kiwi fruits shall not be entertained from our end,” the ministry said in a letter written to its Iranian counterpart in NPPO.
Since October 2021, India has intercepted quarantine pest ‘Aspidiotus netil’ in 22 consignments and ‘Pseudococcu Calceolariae’ pest in two Kiwi fruit consignments, it said.
The pest infested consignments of Kiwi fruits from Iran have increased despite repeated warning to take action to comply with the quality norms set by India, it said.
Earlier in 2019 too, India had intercepted a quarantine pest called ‘Aspidiotus netil’ from 13 consignments and non-quarantine pest ‘Aonidiella aurantii’ from two consignments of Kiwi fruits from Iran, it added.
The ministry further said, ”The non-compliance report has ben sent on regular basis to Iran for these consignments but so far no action has been taken nor the interception have decreased.” It said introduction of any quarantine pests through infested import consignments is a threat to Indian biosecurity and is dealt under the provisions of Indian regulation. The Indian government has suspended the import of fresh kiwi fruits from India as each country has sovereignty and authority to protect itself, it said. Iran government has also been requested to investigate the cases of non-compliance and submit an action taken report at the earliest with respect to remedial measures taken to avoid the future interceptions. Currently, India imports 4,000 tonnes of Kiwis from various countries, while the domestic production is about 13,000 tonnes, as per the government data.