BAFRA has tested for other veg­eta­bles in­clud­ing lo­cally pro­duced and for im­ported rice for chem­i­cal con­tent

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

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.

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