Punjab Farmers Worried About Potential Impact of New Pesticide Residue Norms on Basmati Exports

Punjab Farmers Worried About Potential Impact of New Pesticide Residue Norms on Basmati Exports


Two pesticides used on basmati rice, cypermethrin, and carbendazim, have been advised to lower their maximum residual levels (MRL) from 2 mg per kg to 0.01 and 0.05 mg, respectively, according to sources in the industry.

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Punjab production, trade, and exports may suffer as a result of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) proposed adjustment to the pesticide residue restrictions for basmati crops.

Exporters in Punjab fear they would face pressure, which might have an impact on basmati producers, despite the FSSAI’s request to modify the requirements in order to make Indian basmati acceptable to importing countries, particularly those in West Asia.

Since West Asian countries like Jordan and Qatar have become more strict in recent years regarding the maximum residue level (MRL) in basmati, the local government has had to change regulations to comply with EU standards.

Officials from the state Agriculture Department claim that more than 4 lakh hectares of basmati have already been planted. Next week, a conference will be held by the government to decide whether to outlaw nine pesticides used on basmati rice.

By doing this, the MRL will be ensured to stay within the new FSSAI-recommended standards. Additionally, this will ensure that Punjabi basmati is acknowledged in global markets, according to Director of Agriculture Gurwinder Singh.

The new rules, which will raise the MRL of Indian basmati to meet global norms, could put its exports at risk. 18 pesticides used in rice, including basmati varieties, have been proposed for change by the FSSAI in crop residue regulations.

“The new benchmark is unconquerable.” Exports will consequently suffer. We routinely argue with customers about whether our basmati is FSSAI-certified safe in the global market.

However, we are worried that exports may suffer as a result of the FSSAI raising the threshold for crop residue, according to Arvinder Singh, a basmati exporter from Amritsar. He asserted that the All-India Rice Exporters Association has previously rejected the standard revision.

The Department claimed that basmati samples tested in 2021 showed crop residue levels to be lower than the MRL for the EU. The Director said, “This was made feasible when nine pesticides were forbidden.

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