Im­ported ch l es banned

Business Bhutan - - Flash -

Bhutan Agri­cul­ture and Food Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity (BAFRA) tem­po­rar­ily banned im­port of chilies on July 22 fol­low­ing de­tec­tion of pes­ti­cide con­tent that ex­ceeded per­mis­si­ble lim­its.

BAFRA had sent three va­ri­eties of im­ported chilies to In­dia in May for lab­o­ra­tory test­ing after a va­ri­ety of im­ported chili was found con­tain­ing pes­ti­cide.

The lab­o­ra­tory report re­vealed the pres­ence of pes­ti­cides which are mod­er­ately toxic and the use of which is not per­mit­ted in the coun­try.

Since then, BAFRA im­ple­mented the ban with im­me­di­ate ef­fect across the coun­try.

One week after the ban of im­ported chilies, lo­cal chili prices hit a new high with prices fluc­tu­at­ing be­tween Nu 300 to Nu 500/ kg at the cen­te­nary farm­ers’ mar­ket.

Peo­ple started con­sum­ing other chili like cherry pep­per (dal­lay), which also came dear at Nu 100/25gms.

After al­most five months of the ban, about three met­ric tons of chili were trans­ported in a char­tered flight on De­cem­ber 4 by the two Bhutanese air­lines from Kolkata for free.

Ac­cord­ing to the agri­cul­ture min­is­ter, Ly­onpo Yeshey Dorji, the short­age of chilies was strongly felt in the cap­i­tal and not much in the other dzongkhags.

The coun­try’s re­quire­ment for chili dur­ing win­ter is about 1,527MT con­sid­er­ing that two-thirds of the an­nual im­port of chilies, which is 2,291MT, is con­sumed dur­ing win­ter.

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