Canada, hit by Indian crop quarantine rules, launches information initiative to boost grain exports

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India’s tight-grip quarantine policy, which has created unrest and uncertainty amongst farmers, has prompted agriculture producer groups in Canada to launch a “Keep It Clean” initiative to ensure the industry is up to date with crop protections management decisions.

Aimed at stabilizing and also boosting exports, the initiative has been launched by Pulse Canada in collaboration with Canola Council of Canada and Cereals Canada.

India is a top destination for Canadian pulses, but new quarantine rules introduced by New Delhi has made exports difficult.

The two countries, which discussed the issue during a recent visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have agreed to work together to finalise an arrangement within 2018 to enable the export of Canadian pulses to India free from pests of quarantine importance, with mutually acceptable technological protocols.

The Keep It Clean initiative will help producers make crop protection management decisions that ensure that markets stay open for Canadian crops.

A new website is creating a bank of information about what levels and kinds of products need to be used in the production process till it reaches the point of import.

The idea is to eliminate any ambiguity in the import process and ensure successful trade between Canadian producers and potential importing nations like India.

The initiative will help growers understand which products might cause concerns in the global market place. Currently, there is an increasing amount of countries creating their own Maximum Residue Limit (MRL lists), moving away from the global standard codex, which has created a lot of problem for Canadian grain producers.

MRL is the highest level of pesticide residue that can be found in a food product when a pesticide is used according to label directions, and is measured in parts per million.

A majority of Canadian farmers are left guessing about this and other market access restrictions that may apply to them, depending on what crop protection products they use in every growing season.

The website that is working in tandem with the Canadian government will be able to address these issues as it will be continuously monitoring potential risks in major export markets.

The consortium also aims to ensure that ‘any market access issues or other potential problems have been addressed before a new product is introduced or before a new use is added to the label of any grain produce.’

Uttara is a correspondent with Indoasiancommodities. You can write to her on uttara.malhotra@indoasiancommodities.in.

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