Nepal food safety tests for Indian veg imports prove to be inefficient

Nepal's plan to test all edible stuff entering the country from India everyday at the eastern border point is yet to be implemented. Food test machines have been stranded at Kakkarbhitta and Birtamod, and the authorities are blaming the lack of human resources for not being able to make the best use of them. 

A few years ago, the government had decided to establish food testing centers at the border points when Indian vegetables were prohibited in the capital city. But the plan is still waiting to be implemented effectively.

Usually, Nepal imports huge quantities of vegetables every day. The festive season has added pressure to the food market. However, these foodstuffs are never tested properly although they were found to contain high levels of pesticide. 

More than 70 percent of vegetables and fruits are imported from India to the agricultural market of Birtamod. Nepali agricultural officials have said that pesticides were found in Indian vegetables. But no step has been taken so far to test foods properly. 

According to Rajendra Kharel, crop conservation officer of District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), the pesticide testing laboratory has become useless in lack of efficient human resources. “Such tests are useless,” he said. 

Yogendra Kumar Karki, spokesperson for Ministry of Agriculture Development, said that the ministry was working on the framework of the pesticide testing laboratory. He claimed that the Crop Conservation Directorate was aware of the need to make effective use of the testing machines.


Publication date: 9/27/2017

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