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India: Okra ban lifted

In what comes as a major relief for one section of the country's agrarian community, the Union minisry of agriculture (MoA) lifted the ban imposed on the export of okra (lady's finger) to European countries after live thrips — a pest — were detected in March.

The decision was taken after plant quarantine experts, officials of state horticulture department and the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) verified registered farms in Phaltan and Baramati. The move came after the pest was found in shipments — both in India and on arrival in the EU.

A senior MoA official, who requested anonymity, said, "MoA's plant quarantine directorate had assured the EU that it would ensure pest-free exports of vegetables and fruit. This agreement appears to be important in the voluntary suspension of okra shipments."

Confirming the development, state agriculture commissioner Vikas Deshmukh told Mirror, "The MoA lifted the ban following experts' audit. We are now issuing certificates to exporters so that they can export okra."

Click here to read more at punemirror.in.

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