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India Asks Germany to Help Relax New EU Rice Import Rule

NEW DELHI: India has asked Germany to use its good offices to resolve the issue at the earliest, as the new stringent EU rice import rule kicked in this month.

The European Union (EU) has reduced the maximum permissible residue level (MRL) of Tricyclazole (a fungicide) in basmati rice to 0.01 mg per kg from the present limit of 1.0 mg per kg effective January 1.

To convince some European countries on the need to relax the rules, India, the world's largest producer of the aromatic grain, has made several representations to them. Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Sekhawat raised the issue with his German counterpart, during last week's visit to Germany's capital Berlin. He also highlighted that the EU was not accepting the digital phytosanitary certificates.

The minister was quoted as saying in an official statement, "Sekhawat also impressed upon the German minister to use his good offices for early resolution of Indian rice export being subjected to arbitrarily fixed maximum residue limit on Tricyclazole at 0.01 mg/kg by the EU."

The statement added, "The German minister, in response, conveyed his admiration for India's advance on digitalisation of the certificate and assured to personally take up the matter with the EU authority concerned."

The statement added that, India also conveyed its interest in Argentina's farm mechanisation and sought collaboration to such technologies to suit Indian conditions, and obtain technology for manufacturing silo bag to reduce storage losses.

Sekhawat had led an Indian delegation to 10th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture that concluded on January 20. He also met Agriculture ministers from three countries - Germany, Argentina and Uzbekistan. With his Uzbekistan counterpart Zoir Mirzaev, Sekhawat talked about trade opportunity in moong beans besides cooperation in areas such as farm machinery, skill development and crop residue management.

Sekhawat discussed various areas of mutual interest including trade in agriculture products such as fruits, vegetables and meat, with Argentinian Minister of Agriculture Luis Miguel Etchevehere.

At the 10th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, Sekhawat stressed the actions taken by India to mitigate the effect of climate change, both in animal and crop sector.


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