KATHMANDU, Aug 19: At the 7th meeting of Joint Agricultural Working Group of Nepal and India, the Indian side informed Nepal that it has started building quarantine check posts at Bhittamod near Janakpur and Gauriphanta of Dhangadhi.
Nepal had requested India to build several quarantine check posts along the Nepal-India border, to ease trade of agricultural products between the two countries. The Indian side has told Nepal that it would forward a proposal about constructing additional posts to the concerned authority of India.
The 2-day meeting was held in Kathmandu on August 16-17.
Quarantine check posts examine the permits issued for importing food products, monitor samples in their labs, and also check the labels on packages. Not all food products imported from India are checked. There are only three stand-alone food quarantine posts -- at Kakarbhitta, Birgunj and Mahendranagar. The extended food quarantine services under Department of Food Technology and Quality Control's (DoFTQC) regional offices are available in Bhairahawa, Biratnagar, Nepalgunj, and Janakapur.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, the meeting discussed on seven issues. The Nepali team was lead by the joint-secretary of the ministry Yogendra Kumar Karki, and the Indian team was lead by joint-secretary of the Indian Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare.
The issues of discussion included: support for higher education in agriculture and livestock, agricultural research and development, organic farming and soil health, facilitation for import and supply of fertilizer, mutual recognition of laboratory report, trade facilitation for agricultural commodities (quarantine) and pilot project for livestock development.
The ministry said the meeting focused on finding ways of mutual benefit for the farmers as well as overall agricultural development of both the countries.
The meeting also presented progress report of previous meeting held in the Indian capital of New Delhi, in 2017. As per the previous agreement, India has said that it has taken initiations toward recognizing Jogbani and Nepalgunj as alternative border points to import chemical fertilizer from third countries. In the 7th meeting, Nepal has requested India to ensure the import of chemical fertilizers from Bisakhapatnam port of India. Nepal has also requested to open Sunauli, Jogbani and Rupadiya border points to import fertilizer.