The Vietnam government has announced it will suspend the import of five agricultural products from India after several consignments were found to be contaminated with peanut beetle.
Agriculture minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong signed an order on March 1 to stop the import of the Indian agricultural products, state-run Vietnam News Agency reported on Wednesday.
Within 60 days of the order being issued, Vietnam’s agriculture ministry will stop issuing import permits for peanuts, cassia seed, cocoa beans, haricot beans and tamarind from India.
The agriculture ministry’s Plant Protection Department (PPD) will impose strict controls on all shipments of these five products that have entered Vietnam to prevent the spread of contamination by peanut beetle (Caryedon serratus Olivier).
Since last year, phytosanitary units of the PPD found more than 3,000 tonnes of peanuts and 24 tonnes of tamarind from India that contained live beetles, the report said.
In the first two months of this year, 384 tonnes of Indian peanuts were also found to be contaminated.
The report said Vietnamese authorities had notified their Indian counterparts but no corrective measures were taken. This led to the suspension of imports even as Vietnamese authorities continued to try to find a solution.
Between April 2015 and January 2016, Vietnam had suspended imports of peanuts from India because of a similar infection. Vietnam is one the largest importers of Indian peanuts and the earlier ban was one of the reasons for a 32% fall in exports in 2015-16.
The previous ban was lifted after a Vietnamese delegation visited India in December 2015 and was satisfied after inspecting fumigation facilities, export procedures and the export certification system for peanuts.