ISLAMABAD: The Ethiopian government has sought extension in the waiver to export red kidney beans to Pakistan.
Pakistan had lifted the ban on export of red kidney beans from Ethiopia for three months, which expired in March this year, but the Ethiopian government could not avail of the facility due to novel coronavirus outbreak.
The Ethiopian ministry of agriculture has written to Pakistan’s Ministry of National Food Security and Research that due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic the fumigation process using methyl bromide could not be completed within the stipulated period of three months starting January 2020, and exporters could not send their shipments to Pakistan.
Pakistan embassy in Ethiopia has also been approached in this regard.
The Ethiopian Pulse, Oilseeds and Spices Processors and Exporters Association urged their government to take up the issue with Pakistan for an early resolution of the issue.
Pakistan banned the import due to ‘serious destructive and virulent quarantine disease’
The Ethiopian ministry requested Islamabad to extend the waiver to six months to export the product, which as per the agreement would be fumigated upon arrival in Pakistan.
Pakistan has historically been one of the top destinations for Ethiopian pulses. However, the Pakistani government banned import of haricot beans, which includes red kidney beans, speckled beans and pinto beans due to plant health concerns.
Pakistan has banned import of red kidney beans from Ethiopia due to a concern over a ‘serious destructive and virulent quarantine disease’. Red beans are one of the major export products in the pulses category of Ethiopia.
Before lifting the ban for three months, a Pakistan delegation consisting of experts in quarantine analysis had visited Ethiopia to evaluate the country’s pest risk analysis scheme to resume trading. The delegation had also inspected the quarantine facilities set up by the Ethiopian ministry of agriculture.
Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2020