BAFRA has tested for other vegetables including locally produced and for imported rice for chemical content
With the confirmed high pesticides content in the imported cauliflower, beans and chilies, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) have started similar test for other vegetables including rice and local vegetables.
During meet the press session last Friday, ministry of agriculture and forest, Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said that ministry of agriculture and forestry has instructed BAFRA to conduct test for imported goods especially food items and other fruits also.
Besides that the BAFRA is also been testing imported rice. But Lyonpo added that recently they did test for rice and the result shows that there is not much of chemicals been used in the rice that we are consuming. Meanwhile, around twelve varieties of rice have been tested.
Besides that as there is banned in the import of vegetables, the BAFRA is also been tested for locally produced vegetables. Lyonpo said that because of banned in the import, the alternative is to replace from locally produced vegetables which will lead to inflate to our locally produced vegetables. For that, to monitor the shortages of vegetables and the price hike the department of agriculture and marketing cooperatives will intervene.
“But we already have assurance that the import of chemicals are restricted, because if we don’t allow the import of chemical then how we will use,” said Lyonpo.
Lyonpo added that mostly Bhutanese farmer uses weedicide and pesticides when there is outbreak of pest and diseases only. Therefore, the import of chemical is very minimal. Lyonpo added that the vegetables are grown here and sold, it may not be 100 percent chemical free but at least it is below the optimal limit.
Lyonpo said that one month ago, the ministry had tested sample around 50 vegetables including three types of fruits. The result shows that there are abnormal content of pesticide in three of the vegetables like cauliflower, beans and chili.
“When we say about chili, if we look there are around seven varieties of chili which are imported. So the one which has tested was with high content is the variety which is similar to Bhutanese variety,” said Lyonpo.
Lyonpo further added that the test was confirmed not only in the Bhutanese laboratory but it was also sent to Thailand and Indian laboratory for testing and was confirmed that there is high content of the chemical.
So based on the result, “I have also asked the department of agriculture and marketing cooperative and BAFRA to further validate this findings and therefore they have formed a committee,” said Lyonpo.