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Why Pakistan has banned tomato imports from India

A ban on importing tomatoes from India has been imposed to protect the interests of Pakistan's farmers, said a spokesman for the provincial agriculture department.

He said Monday that the ban will not only help in increasing the incomes of local tomato growers but also in eliminating various diseases that have been spreading in crops. He disclosed that Indian tomatoes have been infected with five types of diseases and viruses including leaf curl New Delhi virus, tomato yellow leaf curl virus, aspermy virus and mosaic virus.

The spokesman said 0.233 million tons of tomatoes have been imported from India during 2015-16 with a cost of Rs 7.91 billion. Collectively, he claimed, Pakistan would benefit to the tune of Rs 100 billion and the trade imbalance would also be reduced by imposing a ban on imported tomatoes.

Talking about the resumption of local tomato supplies for meeting demand of the commodity, he said, consignments of locally produced fresh tomatoes would reach Punjab markets by mid-October. He added that the price of tomatoes would be reduced considerably once tomatoes from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtonkhawa hit the local markets.

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