Russia may lift ban on Indian rice soon

Mumbai: Russia is expected to lift the ban on rice, groundnut and sesame seeds from India, following assurances from the Indian government and the signing of a trade protocol.

The protocol on export of rice was signed earlier this week in Moscow wherein India assured that future consignments would be free of contamination. The Russian government has promised India that the lifting of the ban on the three products will be announced shortly.

The ban was imposed in May this year, following alleged detection of pesticides in rice and pests and harmful fungus in groundnut and sesame seeds imported from India.

India, however, maintained that it adhered to international sanitary and phytosanitary norms and the next crop of rice expected in November will be totally free of the identified pesticide. India exports about 50,000 tonnes of rice to Russia every year.
Officials from the Russian agency who visited India for an inspection in February this year had sought safety certificates for each shipment of rice containing information on pesticides used for growing and storing rice, indicating dosages and dates of treatment.

India said that data at the farm stage was not possible to collate in the country but Russia was free to test the laboratories and testing facilities in India.