The exports of the agricultural commodity rice are likely to improve by quality checks agreement. India and Saudi Arabia have fixed the issues regarding the latter’s decision to quality check the imported food products compulsorily by framing guidelines on MRL (Maximum Residual Level) of pesticides in food products imported to Saudi.
The SFDA officials told Indian its decision to bring in its own guidelines on MRL considering the “human safety aspect” as its fundamental criteria.
The progress followed after India sent a high-level delegation to Riyadh last week to make talks with the SFDA (Saudi Food and Drug Authority) over the recommended guidelines to be followed on the maximum residual level of pesticide acceptable in food products, particularly in agricultural commodity rice.
The Saudi authority would go through the guidelines set by other countries such as Japan before finalizing its own guidelines. However, the Saudi’s guidelines are not expected to be as strict as that of the US or the EU (European Union).
Vijay Setia, President of the All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), said that they are happy with the result of their discussions with the SFDA. He also thanked the SFDA for understanding their genuine concerns on the issue.
Setia was also a part of the Indian delegation which was headed by a senior official of the APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development) to have discussions with SFDA on the issue, as reported on Arabian Business.
SFDA is anticipated to bring in the guidelines on MRL of pesticides and fungicides in about four to five months, said Setia.
The SFDA’s decision to frame the guidelines not strict as that of the US or the EU will serve as a major relief to India’s Rice industry.
Basmati Rice exports from India to the GCC region were about 3 million tonnes during the financial year 2017-2018, accounting for three-quarters of the total exports of agricultural commodity rice in India, according to CommodityOnline.[The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or the official policy of the website. ]