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MARD halts Indonesian seed imports

Update: January, 20/2017 - 09:35
Various seeds, nuts and rice on sale in West Java province, Indonesia. Imports of several common seeds from the country had been stopped by Vietnamese authority to prevent storage pest infestation. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Lê Quốc Doanh signed a decision to cease imports of several nuts and seeds from Indonesia to Việt Nam due to a high risk of contamination from the seed beetle Caryedon serratus.

The MARD has decided to stop importing Indonesian seeds, including peanuts, sickle senna seeds, cocoa seeds and string bean seeds.

The seed beetle, which causes groundnuts infestation, belongs to the list of plant quarantine pests in Việt Nam and is neither native nor present on Vietnamese soil. It could cause severe damage to currently stored agricultural products, according to representatives from the MARD’s Plant Protection Department (PPD).

The decision will be in effect 60 days from January 19.

While the decision has yet to be put into practice, Doanh urged the PPD to conduct strict quality control regulations and pest quarantines on imported Indonesian shipments of peanuts, sickle senna, cocoa and string bean seeds.

The PPD will soon deliver official statements to authorised agencies on plant and pest quarantines in Indonesia to have a more throughout the solution.

In 2016, more than 5,000 tonnes of imported goods from Indonesia to Việt Nam through the Cát Lái Port and Hải Phòng were discovered by the plant quarantine authority of the PPD to be contaminated with live Caryedon serratus beetles.

In the span of 11 days--from January 5, 2017 to January 16, 2017--the PPD discovered 40 more containers with nearly 1,000 tonnes of Indonesian peanuts infested by the same seed beetle.

In accordance with world regulations and Việt Nam’s own regulations on plant quarantines, the PPD has sent multiple notifications to Indonesia’s National Plant Protection Organisation.

On January 6, the MARD issued a decision to stop importing tamarind from Indonesia for the same reason, but the situation has yet to improve and no response from Indonesian authorities had been received by their Vietnamese counterpart. — VNS


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