The Spices Board has called upon exporters of dried curry leaves to be more vigilant about sending consignments to European Union countries by attaching necessary health certificates along with the cargo.
These health certificates should also incorporate cleared analytical reports. These certificates will be issued by the Export Inspection Council/Agency in respect of the export consignments intended for exports to the EU on the strength of the analytical reports issued by Quality Evaluation Laboratory of the Board.
The Board’s directives come in the wake of recent reports of the detention of a dried curry leaf consignment from India to EU countries, which was found contaminatedf with pesticide residue.
Board Chairman A Jayathilak told BusinessLine that adoption of integrated pest management practices/organic farming practices at the farm level would address the pesticide residue issue in the export of curry leaves. Recently, the Board conducted a stakeholders’ meeting in Andhra Pradesh to create awareness about addressing the issue.
According to him, curry leaves are one of the items in the export basket of spices from India. The country exported 600 tonnes of curry leaves valued at ₹371 lakh during 2016-17, and the EU accounts for 20 per cent of the total value of curry leaves exports.
Consequent to the issue of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) by the EU for curry leaves originating from India that were found contaminated with pesticide residue, the Board had introduced mandatory sampling and testing of curry leaves since January 2013. The exported consignments of dried leaves to EU countries should be subjected to cleared analytical report on pesticides such as Profenofos, Triazophos and Endosulfan with permissible maximum residue levels.
Meanwhile, industry sources point out that the Board has identified land for curry leaves cultivation in Prakasham district of Andhra Pradhesh. Farmers will be organised in clusters and given training on proper harvesting and packaging and linked to exporters.