Basmati Rice exporters have sought the
intervention of the Centre to take steps to resume export to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia, the second largest
importer of basmati halted Rice imports from India since June for
non-compliance with its new stringent maximum level of pesticide residues in
Indian authorities are set to initiate
dialogue with the Gulf kingdom to seek mellowing of maximum residue level (MRL)
norms that are likely to hit exports of mainly Rice, buffalo meat and few other
“The matter is being taken up with Saudi Arabia
as the new MRL are not based on scientific facts and are too stringent to be
fulfilled,” a senior official from Agricultural and Processed Food Products
Export Development Authority (APEDA) said.
Saudi Arabia’s new MRL norms are not
India-specific, though. Rice export to the country has halted since June after
a consignment was tested positively for not fulfilling the new criteria for
residue detection. Saudi Arabia buys 7-8 lakh tonnes of Rice, primarily
basmati, from India.
Exporters warn that the development will
significantly shrink India’s share in the global Rice market. India is the
largest exporter of basmati, shipping 4 million tonnes of basmati in 2017-18.
traces pesticides leave
in treated products are
A maximum residue level (MRL)
is the highest level of
apesticide residue that is
legally tolerated in or on food or
feed when pesticides are
applied correctly (Good Agricultural Practice).